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About Retin-a

If you've used Retin-A, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Subj: Night cream with Retin-A?
Date: 3/3/2006
I have alot of blackheads and have been using retin-A lotion for about 3 months. I was wondering about how long it takes for blackheads to start clearing up, and also is it ok to use a night cream (Eucerin redness therapy) at night with Retin-A.

AskDocWeb: For best results, when using anything with Retin-A, allowing a least a half hour between use of the two products is recommended. This is to prevent possible interactions that could lead to problems. In studies, the best results were achieved between seven to twelve weeks after commencing treatment.

Subj: Retin-A experience
Date: 3/5/2006
I was prescribed Retin-A about 14 weeks ago and when I first started using it my skin became very dry, scaly and red. But by using a very small amount and taking breaks from using it when the peeling was very extreme I have found that I have started to see major benefits. At first it was very depressing but I'm glad I STOPPED when my skin was sore and uncomfortable as it helped to build a tolerance to the medication. Using Aloe Vera gel was very soothing when the skin was peeling badly. After feeling badly sun burnt and taking long breaks between applications at first I have now been able to use it pretty consistently for the last month and am finally seeing progress.

AskDocWeb: Thanks Elizabeth, others will be intersted in how to cope with sore skin when first starting. For readers who are considering using Aloe Vera, be sure to check the side effects and cautions.

Subj: Large pores
Date: 3/6/2006
My nose is covered with enlarged pores, around which the skin sinks slightly, leaving a bumpy texture overall. Will Retin-A improve the appearance of this condition, and is it irreversible?

AskDocWeb: Yes, it could reduce the size of your pores and tighten the skin up which would smooth things out.

Subj: Discouraged
Date: 3/9/2006
I've been using Retin-A for about 8 weeks now. At first, my acne got worse then about week 5-6 it's better. But after week 7, I broke out so bad that I never have before. I'm very discouraged. Should I keep using it? And, I'm using 2% Salicylic acid cleanser every morning now. Is it good or not? What should I do? Thank you.

AskDocWeb: It seems that the most successful users give their skin a break from the Retin-A once in a while, using it every other day or every third day. The cleansing could be a source of skin irritation because it contains Salicylic acid, not to be used with Retin-A.

Subj: Retin A
Date: 3/10/2006
I heard that once you begin using Retin A that you cannot discontinue use. What's that about? Does this mean I have to use it until I'm 104? What happens if I don't?

AskDocWeb: No, you heard wrong. You can discontinue this drug at any time.

Subj: Red areas
Date: 3/13/2006
I just started the obagi nu-derm system with .1% tretinol six days ago. Lots of peeling and my skin is really dry and tight. I'm using these products to reduce hyperpigmentation. I have oral herpes and ended up with a small lesion close to the corner of my mouth. I have stopped putting the products close to the breakout. I also have a puffy, red area on my jaw line. Has anyone had that type of reaction? Has anyone had problems with the herpes spreading?

AskDocWeb: The peeling of the skin is one of the stages typical of this drug. The puffy red areas could possibly be an allergic reaction, in which case you should talk to your doctor as this product may need to be discontinued.

Subj: Retin-A on lips
Date: 3/15/2006
Absentmindedly I smeared A product that has Retin-A in it over my lips. Now I have a burn around the perimeter of my lips and my skin on my lips has peeled off. It really hurts. I have been applying hydrocortizone on it 4 times a day as advised by my doctor. However it is not healing. My question is will the pink ring around my mouth ever disappear? HELP!

AskDocWeb: Yes it will disappear but it will take some time. Damaged skin does take a long time to heal so be patient. Be sure to read all the instructions next time so that this problem doesn't occur again. If after a couple of weeks you see no improvement, go to a dermatologist. You may need a different product to help the healing.

Subj: Red blemishes
Date: 3/16/2006
I'm a person who has been suffering from acne for the last year and a half in the same places in my face. Before, the spots would be there for a short time and then disappear gradually. Recently, there have been spots that have just stayed and gradually become red blemishes on my face and have not gone for ages. Do you think that by taking Retin-A and Oxytetracycline Tablets, the spots will go and I will have no bad side effects?

AskDocWeb: We are a little concerned about those red spots. Please have a dermatologist examine them to make sure they are not something serious.

Subj: Laser hair removal
Date: 3/17/2006
Hi, Can I use Retin A and get Laser hair removal on my face?

AskDocWeb: Some plastic surgeons actually recommend using Retin A as part of preparation for laser work but you need to talk this over with the surgeon first. You will likely have to discontinue use before surgery and then give your skin a chance to heal before you start using the retin A again.

Subj: Avoiding the flaking
Date: 3/19/2006
A dermatologist recommended applying retin a for short periods of time i.e. 30 min to one hour and then washing it off and applying moisturizer. She said it would still give the benefits of the product but without the harsh side effects(flaking). Is it possible to see results with such a short application time.

AskDocWeb: The end results may take longer but yes, it is worth giving it a try and see what happens.

Subj: Important
Date: 3/23/2006
I worked in a pharmacy for awhile and noticed that the dermatologists were prescribing a compound that was used to lighten hyperpigmentation, sun spots, liver spots etc. to many female patients. It was incredible to see these women and how they coveted this cream. They loved it. As far as I can remember it contained Hydroquinone and (possibly) retin-a, in a cream base. For those women looking for a solution to dark spots this might be it. Ask your doctor about it, I think it might be known as Kligman's bleach...I've tried googling it but no luck.
Also, after having read a lot of these statements I think it's important to stress that you must, must, must wear a sunblock! And read the directions. My use of Retin-A Micro is fairly new but I've experienced the redness, scaling, flaking skin. I avoid applying it to the areas that are sensitive to this i.e. chin, nose. And I gently exfoliate with a washcloth while washing my face, only a few times a week though. Good luck.

Subj: Red face
Date: 3/23/2006
My daughter has been using Retin-A micro .1% for 6 weeks. She has noticed a significant improvement, but still not completely cleared up. Her face has become very red. Is this normal? Should she use a lower dose? Stop using the product? She was told to apply all over the face not just on the problem area is this correct advice?

AskDocWeb: Sounds like she may need to give her skin a rest for a few days, then start again with every other day. We wonder about applying medication to areas that do not need it. That is a little like taking pills you don't need. Do read the directions and make sure she is not using too much. A pea-sized amount of the product is all that is needed. The directions say that it's not to be applied around the nose, eyes, and sometimes the chin. The skin in those areas may be too sensitive. If the redness continues, then consider discontinuing use.

Subj: 10 years of Retin-A Micro
Date: 3/24/2006
Currently I'm using Retin-A Micro 0.04%. I began using a Retin-A cream 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with Basal Cell skin cancer. I'm going to disagree with AskDocWeb who stated on 8/03/04 it takes 2-3 weeks to notice positive results. In reality, it takes several months. At the start your skin will seem extremely irritated, dry, tight, very itchy and even bumpy. It's a rough time. During this period acne may seem to worsen also, but hang in there because the results are fantastic. In the beginning I only used Retin-A twice a week. Over time and as my skin adjusted to it's use, I added an additional night. Now I use it sparingly every night at bedtime. I use it on my entire face including the corner of my eyes. I am careful to not get it so close to my eyes that will get in them. I also apply it under my eyes. By that I mean I go up under the eyelashes. I apply Retin-A Micro to my ear lobes, above my upper lip between my nose and over my entire neck. I do not use it on my eye lids or lips.

It did cause the corner of my eyes to swell a bit when I started using it there. I backed off and allowed the swelling to go down and used it less often in that area until eventually my skin adjusted to it's use.. Your skin will get used to it and for the most part, all these side effects will stop. You should use skin care products that are gentle and for sensitive skin and do not contain perfumes or alcohol as these will only irritate and burn your skin. Retin-A not only took away my Basal Cells, but using it has also prevented wrinkles. Oh and did I mention, it also promotes collagen production! Some people are looking for quick results when they try a new product such as Retin-A and when they don't see it FAST, they discontinue it's use. Others don't follow directions properly when using Retin-A, then complain about the effects. Just know if your one of these two people types then Retin-A is not for you.

AskDocWeb: It's okay to disagree with us but don't assume that everyone will respond to medication the same way that you do. And remember that this med comes in different strengths and each one will have a different response time, which will vary from person to person. That 2-3 weeks refers to the soonest period of time to see results.

Just because you can get away with using it in areas where the directions say to avoid use does not mean that everyone can. We say to follow the directions and stay safe.

Subj: Retin-A on acne spots?
Date: 3/24/2006
Can I use the Retin A on my old acne spots?

AskDocWeb: Yes you can, but be careful of how close you get to your eyes, nose and mouth.

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