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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: Liver problems...hepatitis?
Date: 8/20/2010
A GP has just told me that Retin A can cause liver problems...hepatitis? and depression and other serious side effects. I love using Retin A and initially did so at the recommendation of my plastic surgeon because of a number of surgeries I've had for basal cell carcinomas. I have used it on and off for ten years and have never heard this before. I also have started using it on my sun damaged arms and legs, but now am alarmed to hear this. I thought, given Cher started using it decades ago and many others, that it was relatively safe. Can't find any info about this. Does anyone know anything about this?

AskDocWeb: There are several reports here of Retin-A causing elevated liver enzymes. Those reporting said that their liver tests returned to normal upon discontinuing Retin-A. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, "Too much vitamin A is toxic and can cause liver failure, even death. Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity include lasting headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, dry skin and lips, dry or irritated eyes, nausea or diarrhea, and hair loss. While vitamin A is considered safe in the diet, it is possible to get too much from supplements. For those 19 and older, the tolerable upper limit for vitamin A is 10,000 IU per day."

Subj: White skin is peeling
Date: 8/21/2010
i used retinol A for 1 month, after stopping it and new white skin start to form and its overlapping my normal skin. I dont know what is that and now i am suffering to peel it. Does anyone has any idea what that could be? thanx

Subj: Oil of Olay night firming cream?
Date: 8/22/2010
I'm using Oil of Olay night firming cream, and I want to use Retin A. I bought the Retin A cream. Can I use the two products together? Hope you're having a good weekend!

AskDocWeb: Hi Rina! Connie says she has been using Retin A for 15 years and she uses Oil of Olay products with no problem, but she does use the ones without perfumes.

Subj: Finally stopped peeling
Date: 8/24/2010
If you read any of the reviews before trying Retin A you would know that red, flaky, dry, irritated, and just plain nasty looking skin is what you get for at least the first few weeks. If you are not willing to put up with these things don't even try it. It will take several months before you see any positive results. It will take continued use for at least 6 months to see significant improvement. I'm only at the "finally stopped peeling" level after 2 weeks of use. My face is red, sensitive, but feels smooth. I plan to use it for 1 year and then determine if I'll continue to use it. You need to do the same.

Subj: Reduce signs of aging
Date: 8/25/2010
I have been using Retin A for over two months now just to ward off or reduce the signs of aging. It has worked tremendously! I see that my skin has peeled some, but with an exfoliation glove and mild scrubbing, it goes away easily. My skin now has a glow, even color, and tighter pours. This stuff is a miracle drug!

Subj: Retin-A for children?
Date: 8/25/2010
I'm just asking what is the lowest age of a person can use retin-a. Can it be just be used to anybody who suffers from acne and other skin problems?. Can a 16 year old guy use it?

AskDocWeb: That is a possibility but you will have to check with your doctor to be sure this medication would be appropriate for your condition. The patient information for Retin-A says, "safety and effectiveness in children below the age of 12 have not been established."

Subj: Skinceuticals retinol 1.0
Date: 8/26/2010
i just started using Skinceuticals retinol 1.0 (no prior ajusting) and am getting no result, i have a hard time imagining how could the cream cause all this redness and flaking and sideffects. Could my skin be insensitive/immune to it? Its only my second day but i have been applying quite allot. Is it to soon to give a verdict?

AskDocWeb: It sounds like you are thinking that "more is better" but that is not always true, especially when using medication. Sometimes we call that an overdose. If you have any doubt about that, at your next meal, think about removing the top of the salt shaker and dumping the entire works on your food. Don't do it, just think about what it would taste like. More is NOT always better. Most of the time you get better results by following the instructions so please do that. When you read the instructions, you will see that results don't become noticeable until after 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. More than 6 or 7 weeks of treatment may be needed before consistent beneficial effects appear.

Subj: Retin A is great stuff
Date: 8/26/2010
Retin A is incredible. It is removing my acne scars, bit by bit. Smoothing out my skin. Lightening my dark spots. It's great stuff!

Subj: Moisturizer
Date: 8/27/2010
Would it be ok to use Retin-A before bed, then applying a cream a few minutes later like Elizabeth Arden's good night sleep cream, or another type of moisturizer? Or is applying a moisturizer only in the morning good enough?

AskDocWeb: Users have reported getting the best results when they apply a moisturizer 20 to 30 minutes after applying Retin-A. Which moisturizer you choose seems to be a case of trial and error. Users of Retin-A have recommended the following moisturizers.
  • Almay
  • Aquaphor
  • Cetaphil facial moisturizer
  • Elodoquin
  • Kiehls
  • Loreal moisturizer
  • Neutrogena Moisturizer for combination skin
  • Neutrogena oil free moisturizer with SPF15
  • Oil of Olay moisturizer
  • ROC moisturizer
They also recommend using a moisturizer in the morning.

Subj: African-American skin
Date: 8/27/2010
I have been using Retina Mirco for almost two years now and I have seen a drastic change in acne. I rarely get any serious breakouts and just minor pimples here and there. I am African-American and I have however noticed that my skin tone has changed. I am now lighter in some areas and darker in others. Is that normal and will it go away?

AskDocWeb: After two years of treatment, it may be time to consult with a dermatologist. African-Americans are much more likely to have pigmentation problems, both hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) and hypopigmentation (loss of skin color). There are sometimes treated by washing with a cleanser containing alpha hydroxy acids and applying a bleaching agent like hydroquinone to treat dark spots.

Subj: Twice daily?
Date: 8/28/2010
Hey, I was wondering if it would be any more beneficial for my blackheads to go away if I used Retin A Gel .05% twice daily? Rather than the regular once a day routine at night.

AskDocWeb: If you use twice as much daily as the instructions say to use that would be an overdose, which is a bad idea.

Subj: Neurotoxicity?
Date: 8/29/2010
I am a healthy 52 year old male, under no medication, no know health issues of any kind. Very active, run 10 - 15 miles a week. I tried using Retin-A 0.1% with very good visual results. However, within a week I always develop a neurotoxicity to it. It makes me feel sort of sick and I can't sleep at night. If I stop using it everything is back to normal in a few days. Why can't I handle it? Any suggestions?

AskDocWeb: Retin-A is not a neurotoxin. Neurotoxicity occurs when the exposure to neurotoxins alters the normal activity of the nervous system in such a way that it causes damage to nerve tissue. The symptoms of neurotoxicity include loss of memory, vision, and/or intellect, limb weakness or numbness, uncontrollable obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors, headache, delusions, cognitive and behavioral problems and sexual dysfunction. Please consult with your healthcare provider.

Subj: Sensitive with Retin-A
Date: 9/1/2010
A few years ago my dermatologist prescribed me with retin-A after using it for few days i notice that my skin is tight, red and burning...few days later my submental lymphnode and the one at the back of my head is palpable and painful if i put some pressure on it. Within 2 weeks my whole face is swelling and a lot of pustules coming out... Recently i went to different skin clinic..i didnt know what they gave but i think its retinoid derivatives because i am right now having the same symptoms only that its alot faster this time cause i have only apply the product twice( they said it is a night cream, apply it alternately) besides retin A has a specific smell that you will be able to tell if its retin A. My question is can someone be so sensitive with retin A and why dose my lymphnode swell?

AskDocWeb: The most common cause of lymph node swelling in general is infection. The most common causes of swelling in the submental lymph node are mononucleosis syndromes, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, and dental pathology such as periodontitis. We have not heard of Retin-A causing such a reaction but it is possible to be sensitive to Retin-A.

Lymph nodes are present throughout the body. There are lymph nodes behind the ears, the armpit, the neck, the groin, on the back of the head, and under the jaw and chin (submental lymph node). Swollen lymph nodes from an infection usually are treated with antibiotics, pain medication, anti-inflammatory medications to control swelling, and cool compresses to reduce the swelling. If there is an abscess of the swollen lymph node, surgery may be necessary to drain the infection.

Subj: Seeing mild results
Date: 9/2/2010
Seven and a half weeks ago, I began taking 0.1% retin-a micro with doxycycline for major cystic acne and mild sun damage. Since that time, I have been following directions with the pea size amount, using an oil-free, zinc oxide based sunblock, non-comeogenic moisturizer, and the znp soap my derm reccommended. I've gone through a lot of peeling and redness, but no huge initial breakout. I'm seeing mild results, but can't tell if it's from the retin-a or the antibiotic. I know that severe, deep acne takes time to "work it's way out", but should I be seeing more results by now?

AskDocWeb: Most people see results by the 6th or 7th week but everyone is different and it does take time. Making small changes over time is actually safer as your skin has a chance to adjust.

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