This medication works to prevent new pimples and pustules from forming and heals the blemishes that currently exist. It promotes the appearance of younger and smoother skin. For those who are struggling with aging skin, Retin-A can reverse the signs of aging or sun damage for up to ten years with extended treatment. For those with stretch marks, Retin-A can reduce the appearance and discoloration associated with new stretch marks.
Retin-A should be applied in a thin coat with a cotton applicator. Only treat your skin once per day, since more applications will not improve your skin but will increase your side effects. You may at first feel that your skin looks worse when using Retin-A, but if you continue using it, you will see improved results in a little over three weeks. Avoid getting Retin-A in your eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as any open sores. Be careful to rinse well with clear water if contact occurs. Talk to your dermatologist or pharmacist before using any other acne treatments in addition to Retin-A. You should continue to wash your face with a gentle cleanser designed for acne-prone skin. Do not use Retin-A the day before or the day after being exposed to a lot of sunlight, such as a day outdoors. Retin-A should not come in contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. Be sure to rinse the area with plenty of clean water if you do accidentally get it in these areas.
Retin-A Side Effects
It’s important to know that skin is very sensitive to ultraviolet and sunlight when using Retin-A. Unprotected exposure to either will irritate your skin and should be avoided as much as possible. It’s common when beginning treatment with Retin-A for skin to appear worse before it improves. This is because it is rapidly reaching deep blemishes that wouldn’t surface so soon. Continue using Retin-A as directed and you will have improved skin in less than a month. Use protective clothing and good sunscreen when exposure can’t be avoided. Although less pronounced, cold and wind can also irritate your skin.
If you think you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, talk to your obstetrician about using this medication. Studies show that it is generally safe, but some doctors may advise you to quit using it. The gel form of Retin-A is flammable; do not smoke while you are applying this medication.
Retin-A Drug Interactions
Avoid using Retin-A with any other harsh skin products that will further dry skin or contain a lot of alcohol. Do not use any products that contain sulfur, salicylic acid, or resorcinol. Speak to your doctor about any other topical medications you may be using.
Retin-A Missed Dose
Apply Retin-A only once per day. If you forget to apply it at bedtime, apply it when you remember and then resume your normal routine the next day. Do not double dose.
Store Retin-A in a dark place and at room temperature. Keep out of reach of children.
Anything Else I Should Know About Retin-A
You should not begin using Retin-A if you have any rash or abraded skin caused by using exfoliants or keratolytic treatments. Wait until they have healed before beginning to use Retin-A. Retin-A use during pregnancy should be under the supervision and approval of your obstetrician. It is common for Retin-A to irritate skin, but it will be less severe after your skin becomes accustomed to the medication. You should carefully remove all makeup or other cosmetics before applying a Retin-A treatment.
NOTE: The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before taking the product.