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About Retin-a

If you've used Retin-A, please help others by sharing your experience with side effects. 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: Red spots?
Date: 5/11/2011
i've ared acne on my face should i use retin A to help me in reduce thoce red spots?
Wafaa

AskDocWeb: Since Retin-A is a prescription drug, you have to see a doctor in order to get it. The doctor that you consult will be able to tell you if Retin-A would be good for the red spots or not.


Subj: Retin a and oral herpes
Date: 5/17/2011
I have only been using retin a for a few days now, and i have a few questions. Is it ok to use retin a if you have oral herpes? And is it ok to use retin a on your neck? I have allot of discoloration on my face and neck and want to use it on both.
Nisha

AskDocWeb: We didn't find any drug interactions between Retin-A and the drugs used to treat herpes - however, this does not necessarily mean that no interactions exist. Always consult with your doctor or pharmacist to be sure it is safe. The patient information warns against using Retin-A on open wounds or sores but other than that it looks like you might be able to use it. However, you would have to consult with a dermatologist or your doctor to find out if it would be appropriate for what you want to accomplish.


Subj: Difference between .025% and .05%
Date: 5/22/2011
I'm using retin a .025%. Is there really any difference between this and .05% for skin improvement and wrinkles?
Craig

AskDocWeb: There is a slight difference in collagen stimulation. The 0.05% produces about 4% more collagen. In other words, the .025% is almost as effective as .05%.


Subj: No negative side effects
Date: 5/23/2011
Although I've been using Retin-A for 7 days, I'm not experiencing any negative side effects (flaking, red skin, etc.) Does this mean that it's not working or am I just lucky? I will continue to use the product and see if I notice a difference in my acne and the texture of my skin over the next few weeks.
Brandy

AskDocWeb: The fact that you have no side effects just means that your are NOT using too much. That is a good thing. Going slowly gives the skin a chance to adjust to the medication but it does take time to see how well it works.


Subj: Fever blisters and acne
Date: 5/24/2011
Sometimes i get fever blisters and i am currently using retin a, I have not had any problems yet. But was wondering if using retin a could make me have more outbreaks and possibly make the outbreaks spread all over my face. FYI im not taking anything to suppress my outbreaks. Should i be taking valtrex while using retin a? I'm going to stop using retin a while i await your answer. Thank you.
Emma

AskDocWeb: Please remember that we do not give medical advice. The information here is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Fever blisters and acne are two different ailments, which require different medications. For treatment options specific to your situation contact your doctor.


Subj: Major break out
Date: 5/24/2011
I used retin A for about 2 months almost every day and it was controlling the few pimples I had on my forehead and the one day I broke out like crazy! (this is apparently suppose to happen apparently) and stopped using retin a after that now I have more irritating pimples and PIH (Post Inflammatory Pigmentation) not as bad though but still and u want to get rid of em and am thinking of using retin a again and its been around 2 weeks since last time I used it ... Will I have that major break out again? If I xontinue using it now?
Cindy

AskDocWeb: If it happened once the chances are it will happen again but it is not likely to be as bad. Remember that Retin-A brings the previously unseen areas of inflammation to the surface. What may have shown up over a period of several months all comes to the surface at once.


Subj: I tried to pop them all
Date: 5/26/2011
I never had bad skin my whole like clogged pores on my forehead and a big pimple around the one of my period. Then one day I noticed clogged pores over my skin so I tried to pop them all with a blackhead tool sold in drug stores. Needless to say I broke out like crazy after that.

I went to a derm she gave me antibiotic and Retin a. However she bumped me up from .04 to .1 in a month and then told me I need accutane. She never saw me for more than 5 minutes. I stopped everything for a while but now I'm back on Retin a .04 it's been about 2 months with some small improvements but I don't see any great change. I don't use it every night it's too harsh for my now sensitive skin like every two days. I'm scared that it's causeing some indented scarring. I don't know what to do. Should I stay on it?
Jane

AskDocWeb: Picking on zits is a lot like picking on people. It causes aggravation that is likely to leave a scar that will embarrass you later. And yes, some of those scars may be permanent. Since you have sensitive skin, it is best to consult with your dermatologist to determine the best treatment for your situation.


Subj: Is hair loss a side effect of Retin-A?
Date: 5/30/2011
hi, i am 37 and have been using retin a for about 1.5 years. i have noticed that my hair, esp over the past year is starting to fall out and not grow back. i am scared. it is affecting my self esteem and i am worried it won't grow back. my skin looks fantastic but at what cost? i would rather find another way to deal with my skin if the result is my hairloss. i have beautiful, naturally curly, red hair that has always been an asset. my skin is fair and retin a helped but this hair loss SUCKS. help! is this a side effect?
MC

AskDocWeb: Hair loss is not listed as a side effect of Retin-A. On the contrary, some of the milder formulations of Retin-A have actually been used in conjunction with minoxidil to grow hair.


Subj: Using Retin-A with other products
Date: 6/3/2011
I just started using tretinoin .05% for acne and wrinkles. I've been using philosophy anti-agin products for several years...microdermabrasion, anti-aging serum, Vitamin C, a retinoid line. Should I discontinue all of these philosophy products? Also, can Retin-A be mixed with a moisturizer prior to application? Or should the moisturizer be applied separately? Thanks!
Kris

AskDocWeb: Mixing anything with Retin-A before applying it is not recommended. Because there are different skin types and conditions what may work well for one person might cause problems for someone else. Please consult with your doctor about what other products you can safely use with Retin-A.


Subj: Very pleased with the results
Date: 6/12/2011
I am a 39yr old male. I have suffered with acne since a young teen and have tried everything other than acutane. I have noticed gluten triggers acne for me but find it difficult to stay away from entirely. As a teenager I tried Retin-A once and gave up due to the rash.

I am currently 5 weeks into a .1% solution and am very, very, very pleased with the results I am seeing. My face has not looked this good in years and the best part is I have no new pimples in the morning. So, with that said, at five months, have I gone thru all the stages of side effects and will this last? I will be so disappointed if I grow a tolerance to this medication after time like all the antibiotics. Thanks.
Kevin

AskDocWeb: The way in which Retin-A works on your skin is very different from the way that antibiotics work on bacteria. You don't have to worry about becoming tolerant to Retin-A. There are posts from individuals who have used this product for more than 20 years and are still pleased with their results.


Subj: Breastfeeding and Retin A
Date: 6/14/2011
I have been using Retin A 0.025% for 2 weeks on alternate nights. I developed terrible acne during my 3rd trimester after starting high doses of steroids for ITP. The results so far-nothing major, but the glow of my skin is definitely improving. My dermatologist decided against oral antibiotics because I am breastfeeding, but she didnt mention anything in regards to this medicine affecting the baby. I have a 2 and a 1/2 month old baby and I breastfeed frequently. How long does this product stay in the blood stream, will it affect my baby? Should I stop?
Mandy


AskDocWeb: The topical use of Retin-A is generally considered compatible with breastfeeding. Per Thomas Hale, PhD (Medications and Mothers' Milk), "absorption of tretinoin [Retin-A] via topical sources is reported to be minimal, and breast milk concentrations would likely be minimal to none. However, if it is used orally, transfer into milk is likely and should be used with great caution in a breastfeeding mother." This med is classified in Lactation Risk Category L3 (moderately safe). By the way, this is one of the few books we recommend to use throughout pregnancies and breastfeeding.


Subj: My face is crazy
Date: 6/15/2011
I've never had acne/bad skin before but in the past few months have been breaking out. A friend recommended I try retin-A, I live in SE Asia and it available on the shelf at all pharmacies etc. I was silly to not really research it but I only applied a small amount to the acne areas over 5 days. At first it was just dry/flaking now my face is crazy. It is red, feels very hot and tingly I have huge pores and giant red angry zits in strips on both cheeks. I cannot leave the house and I am so scared. Will this subside, I'm not using the cream and as I said used it for a total of 5 times. It's .05 dose. I had beautiful skin but wanted to clear the unusual bout of acne. Have I permanently damaged my skin? I'm really frightened...will it clear?
CJ

AskDocWeb: Hi CJ. Take a deep breath and relax. Retin-A has NOT been reported to cause any permanent damage to skin. What you describe sounds like the surprise that many people get when they try Retin-A. According to the manufacturer, during the early weeks of acne therapy, a worsening of the condition may occur due to the action of Retin-A on deep, previously unseen areas of inflammation. The initial irritation gradually calms down and heals although that may take a few weeks. Even with continued use the skin typically starts getting better in the third week.

One of the reasons why Retin-A is a prescription drug (in the USA) is to protect consumers from unexpected and undesirable results. The .05 dose may be too strong for those who have sensitive skin. They have a milder strength, .025, which many people start with until their skin becomes adjusted to the medication.

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