Tretinoin is a topical treatment for mild-moderate acne and combination/oily skin. It is part of a group of drugs derived from vitamin A called retinoids. Tretinoin helps with inflammatory acne, but it is also one of the few medications that does a good job of treating comedonal acne, such as blackheads.
Tretinoin is applied topically and comes in both cream and gel forms.
Tretinoin works by speeding up the turnover rate of skin cells, keeping pores from getting blocked and exfoliating your skin. It can also make enlarged pores look smaller by clearing out pores. Tretinoin doesn’t completely get rid of old acne scars, but by stimulating cell growth, it can give your smooth a more even, smoother texture, which helps minimize the appearance of scarring. It can also help fade dark discolorations left by breakouts.
Tretinoin also reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines – it’s an anti-aging treatment too!
How Does Tretinoin Work?
Use Tretinoin as directed by your doctor, either one or two times per day. After washing your face with a mild cleanser and patting dry with a clean towel, wait 20-30 minutes to ensure that your skin is completely dry. Then, place a pea-sized amount of the medication on your fingertips and smooth it over breakouts and scaring.
Some of the side effects can be worse within the first weeks of treatment, so some people say that their skin seems to get worse before it gets better. This is completely normal. Use as directed by your doctor, and your skin will soon start to look and feel better. It can take up to four months to see the full results of treatment.
Where Is Tretinoin Available?
Tretinoin is only available by prescription, but it can be widely found in most pharmacies. It is available under the brand name Retin-A, and other drugs that include Tretinoin include Avita, Renova, and the generic version, which is just called Tretinoin.
What Precautions Should I Know About Tretinoin?
Let your doctor know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Tretinoin or any other medicine.
Most people who use Tretinoin will experience some degree of peeling and dryness as it begins to take effect. You can reduce the discomfort and irritation by using an oil-free, non-medicated moisturizer at least twice a day and by making sure to take the medication as directed by your doctor.
What Are Some Side Effects of Tretinoin?
Tretinoin may cause side effects, like many medications. Fortunately, many of these are mild. They include dryness, peeling, flaking, burning, and stinging skin.
Additionally, Tretinoin increases your skin's sensitivity to ultraviolet light, so make sure to apply sunscreen and avoid sun exposure when you're taking Tretinoin.
Will Tretinoin Improve How My Skin Looks?
Tretinoin works by speeding up the turnover of skin cells: A new, revitalized skin is revealed as dead skin is sloughed off. This causes skin to look smoother and more even-toned, and even helps reduce the appearance of scar tissue and discoloration.
How Long Does It Take for Tretinoin to Work?
It can take between two to six months to see noticeable results from using Tretinoin. Studies have also shown that it is safe to use it over the long-term.
What Other Important Information Should I Know About Tretinoin?
Avoid washing the treated skin or applying other topical medication to the treated area within one hour of application.
Unless your doctor tells you differently, avoid using any other topical acne or skin product that contains a peeling agent, irritating hair products, skin products that increase sensitivity to sun, lotions with a large amount of alcohol, and skin products that are abrasive or drying. It also helps to avoid extreme weather conditions like cold and rain.
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