A key ingredient in many acne medications, tretinoin (Retin A) is an effective topical skin treatment. The prescription-strength vitamin A derivative helps boost natural skin renewal and slows the production of excess oil.
In addition, it helps to reduce the size of pores and diminishes fine lines and wrinkles. Tretinoin also improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture and protects it from sun damage, resulting in healthier-looking skin.
While tretinoin can be a lifesaver for acne sufferers, it does come with some side effects. In some cases, tretinoin can cause dry, flaking skin and may lead to redness or irritation. If you are experiencing any of these side effects, it is important to speak with your doctor immediately.
If you are unsure if tretinoin is right for you, our dermatologists can provide an evaluation and help you find the best treatment option. Contact us today to get started!
Unlike some other skin treatments, which can worsen a patient’s acne, tretinoin actually prevents breakouts and treats existing ones. It does this by speeding up the life cycle of cells and encouraging old cells to die faster, which allows newer and fresher skin to replace them.
In one study, participants who used tretinoin saw significant improvement in their acne. They also experienced fewer skin-related side effects than those who did not use the medication.
During the initial stages of using tretinoin, you may experience extreme dryness and flaking of your skin. This is a normal part of the treatment and can be minimized by using a non-comedogenic moisturizer or sunscreen. You should also avoid certain cosmetics and soaps that can irritate your skin.
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding how often you apply tretinoin. Typically, this is once a day at bedtime. Wash your hands before and after applying this medication. Depending on the preparation, you may need to wait 20-30 minutes after washing before applying. Apply a small amount of the medication to the affected areas with your fingertips or a cotton swab. Use a small amount–excessive application can increase the likelihood of irritation.
You should use this medication only as directed on the label or by your doctor. Do not increase your dose or use it more often than prescribed. This can increase your risk of having a negative reaction and will not speed up your results.
Tretinoin and other retinoids have not been found safe for pregnant women. If you are of childbearing age, you must use two forms of birth control at the same time and have regular pregnancy tests while using tretinoin. It can be very harmful to the fetus.
Keep this medication out of the reach of children and pets. It is flammable, so do not expose it to heat or flames. Store in a cool and dark place. This medication can be irritating to sensitive eyes. If it comes into contact with your eyes, rinse them immediately. Do not flush this medication down a toilet or drain unless instructed to do so by your physician. tretinoin gel