Topical Tretinoin, also known as Retin A, is the generic version of this acne medication. In the United States, you need a prescription to purchase topical Tretinoin. Adapalene (Differin) is the only retinoid that can be bought over-the-counter (OTC).
Tretinoin can be used to treat blemishes that are difficult to remove. Continue reading to learn what you need to know before using Tretinoin to treat acne.
Benefits of using Tretinoin to treat acne
Tretinoin, also known as retinoid, is a vitamin A. Retinoids increase the cell turnover in your skin. As new skin cells emerge, dead skin cells are removed more quickly.
A faster cell turnover will open your pores and release bacteria or irritants trapped in your skin that cause acne.
Retinoids, such as Tretinoin, also help regulate your skin’s natural oil production ( sebum), which can prevent further breakouts. These products also contain anti-inflammatory agents that help to clear active acne pustules.
The effects of Tretinoin on visible signs of aging have been extensively studied.
The use of Tretinoin Cream has shown both short-term and long-term results in the appearance of wrinkles. This is why Tretinoin has become a common ingredient in OTC eye and face creams.
Tretinoin acne scars
Acne scarring can be reduced by using Tretinoin. Because Tretinoin increases cell turnover, it may encourage new growth of skin cells at the scarring site.
Tretinoin has been proven to be an effective treatment for acne scars in several forms. Tretinoin can also be used to prepare the skin for chemical Peel treatments.
Tretinoin side effects
Tretinoin can have side effects. Some side effects may be more severe for some people than others. Side effects may include:
Your skin feels warm when you touch it.
Your skin will turn lighter in the area where you used Tretinoin.
It can take up to 12 weeks to see the results of using Tretinoin to treat acne. Check with your doctor to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are typical for OTC tretinoin.
It is not recommended that pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding use Tretinoin.
It would be best if you were careful when using Tretinoin. The skin may be more sun sensitive in the early weeks due to the increased skin cell turnover and the decreased sebum. This can make it more susceptible to sunburn.
Wear sunscreen when you go outside. You can also take additional precautions, like wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Stop using Tretinoin immediately if you experience severe side effects or an allergic reaction. Seek medical attention.
Overdosing on OTC tretinoin is extremely rare. Overdoses are more likely in prescription-strength forms of this medication (such as Retin-A).
Overdose symptoms include difficulty breathing or loss of consciousness.
Other topical acne medications can interact with the Tretinoin, causing irritation or aggravating side effects such as a feeling of burning on your skin.
Avoid using other topical skin products (such as salicylic or benzoyl acid and sulfur) when using Tretinoin.
Avoid products that can dry out your skin. These include astringents, cleansers containing alcohol, and astringents.
How do you use Tretinoin to treat acne?
Select a cream or gel with a small amount of Tretinoin (0.025%). You can gradually increase the amount of Tretinoin in your cream or gel as your skin gets used to it.
How to apply Tretinoin effectively and safely:
Before using topical acne medications, wash your face with warm water. Before applying any creams or lotions to your face, wash your hands. Wait a few moments to ensure your skin dries before using the medication.
Just enough medication should be applied to cover the affected areas lightly. Do not apply a thick layer on your face. You should only use a dime-sized amount of medication across your face.
Spread the medication using the tips of your fingertips away from sensitive parts such as your lips, nose, and eyes. Let the cream or gel absorb into your skin by lightly rubbing it in.
Apply Tretinoin only once before bedtime for byour skin can absorb the Tretinoin completely by your skin as you sleep. You should avoid applying makeup for a few hours after this treatment.
If, after 8 to 12 weeks, you don’t see any improvement in your skin, speak with a dermatologist (a skin doctor) about prescription-strength Tretinoin or other treatment options.
Tretinoin and acne: Before and After
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Tretinoin can be used as a long-term acne treatment. It may not work for everyone, but studies have shown it can improve skin tone and reduce acne scarring.
In the first few weeks of treatment, Tretinoin may cause acne, but you will see improvements after a couple of weeks.