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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.

Burning and stinging
Date: 10/15/2011
I was recently put on clindamycin and Retin-A .025 gel plus doxycycline antibiotic pills. I have severe cystic acne that has worsened immensely in the past month and caused intense itching and pain. I don't know what happened a month ago for this to happen. The derm prescribed me these things but didn't tell me how to use the clindamycin and Retin-A. I use the clindamycin 2 xs/day and the Retin-A only at night. They both burn so bad I want to cry. My skin already hurts to even barely touch it and these are burning/stinging sooo much. What should I do? My next derm appt. isn't for 2 months. Please help!

AskDocWeb: It is possible that you may have an allergic reaction. Although your appointment isn't for 2 months you may still be able get help from your doctor by phone. In many places across the country you can call the doctor's office and ask to speak to your doctor about your painful reaction (or a nurse if your doctor is not available).

Blackheads and firming the skin
Date: 10/18/2011
I'm using tretinoin 0.025% cream, since August 18,2011, so far no change at all. Pores are larger, and seems I get blackheads a little more. I'm using Cerava Hydrating cleanser and the AM lotion during the day. I fear the cleanser is not cleaning my face, removing all make up. Is there more I can do to safely clean my face in the evening? And does tretinoin help with firming the skin? Thanks and I love this web site.

AskDocWeb: It is not unusual to get more blackheads during the first few weeks of treatment as the medication brings areas of inflammation to the surface. Since you have been using it for a couple of month now you may want to ask your doctor about moving up to the next stronger formula. Tretinoin stimulates the production of collagen within the skin, which helps tighten and firm up the surface of your skin and reduces wrinkles in the process. The growth of new cells also visibly shrinks dilated pores over time.

More brown spots
Date: 10/20/2011
I ran outside for 30 minutes in the middle of the day with sunscreen & my face turned red I wore retin a the night before.. I can see more brown spots. Can being out in the sun after using retin a cause that? I know the sun is bad but so is no vitamin D.

AskDocWeb: Yes, Retin-A makes the skin more sensitive to the damaging rays of the sun. That means your skin takes less time to burn when exposed to sunlight and brown spots are more likely to develop, especially if your sunblock is less than SPF 30. Retin-A actually increases vitamin D receptor activity in the skin. For a technical explanation that effect read the article published by the National Library of Medicine.

Looking for a permanent solution for acne
Date: 10/23/2011
I have been using retina-a for 5 years now and am still liking the product. When I started, my acne looked like it was gettin worse apparently the retina-a was bringing out in-depth acne hiding underneath my skin. The only set back I had is that it was making me darker but thanks to knowledge, the use of sun screen and a good moisturizer that made things better.

Retina-a is a treatment for acne. I am now looking for a more permanent solution for my acne problem so that dye will be gone forever, however accutane is not an option for me cause I hope to get pregnant soon. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks to retina-a, my face is much more presentable than before I started using it.

AskDocWeb: Because there are so many different skin conditions and types, it is impossible to say what will work for everyone. To get the best advice possible, you need to have a dermatologist evaluate your skin condition and get recommendations based on that evaluation.

Permanent damage my skin?
Date: 10/23/2011
Hi I had a vitalize peel back in may 2, they didn't gave me clear instructions, I was in the sun, using bad products, results open pores, hyperpigmenation, redness, weird looking scars, my doc gave me atralin gel 0.05 I been using it for a month qod, what are my chances? Or I already permanent damage my skin, thanks.

AskDocWeb: The UV rays of the sun can cause both temporary and permanent damage. However, the skin does have an amazing ability to regenerate so there is hope. If your doctor didn't think your skin would improve he or she would not have prescribed the Atralin gel.

Skin discoloration
Date: 10/25/2011
I have been using retin a for about 6 weeks for my acne scars on my back and my back darker it's been about 3 weeks will the skin discoloration go away?

AskDocWeb: While Retin-A does help with some kinds of skin discoloration it doesn't help with all kinds. It may take 3 to 4 months to see an improvement in skin color. However, you need to be very careful about going in the sun while using it. Exposure to sunlight (without a good SPF) while using Retin-A can cause pigmentation problems to worsen.

Over-the-counter cosmetic creams and lotions
Date: 10/31/2011
Is there any benefit in using any of the over-the-counter cosmetic creams and lotions which contain Retin A in their list of ingredients? Thank you.

AskDocWeb: Yes there are benefits in using over-the-counter products containing retinol. Because they are not as strong as the prescription Retin-A they are less irritating to the skin. Products like Help Me by Philosophy seem to work well for those who have sensitive skin. Of course that is not the only one. LaRoche Posay, Replenix, Young Pharmaceuticals, Vivant, and SkinMedica are also good retinol products. They all have retinol concentrations over .2% and usually produce nice results.

Developing an orange peel skin texture
Date: 11/7/2011
As a teenager I used Retin A for acne breakouts, and had great success with it. Now at age 40 I am once again experiencing mild breakouts, and have been using Retin A Micro .04% for 3.5 months. I have not had any redness or peeling, nor have I had any significant purging since using Retin A Micro. However, I am noticing that my skin is developing an "orange peel" texture - pores have become quite enlarged/stretched, and a number of fine lines have appeared on my face (cheeks, chin, forehead). I am trying not to panic but I've been reading similar reports online, and I'm worried that my skin may be permanently damaged. As of today I have stopped using the Retin A. Have you heard of this type of reaction, and is there anything I can do to repair my skin?

AskDocWeb: Unfortunately some people have skin that is especially sensitive to the effects of Retin-A. For some, the inflammation caused by Retin-A may result in an orange peel texture to the skin. Chemical peels and laser damage may also result in the orange peel texture. The good news is that it is not permanent. The bad news is that it may take several months to recover. You may want to have a dermatologist evaluate your skin condition.

Orange peel look and huge pores
Date: 11/7/2011
Hi, I used retin -a (tretinoin) for 2 months and intially had some nice results, my skin looked plumper. Then, I developed scaly patches on my chin, huge pores and skin that has an orange peel look to it. Most bothersome are the huge pores, as my skin was pretty poreless before (tends to be dry). I have discontinued use. Have you heard of this before and will it go away? How long do you think until my skin returns to normal?

AskDocWeb: Please read the post above. We would guess that it might take somewhere between 3 to 14 months for your skin to return to normal. However, that depends on what additional chemicals you apply to the skin. If the orange peel texture was caused by inflammation then the less chemicals the better. That includes makeup. If the texture is the result of cellulite then you may want to ask your dermatologist about a treatment called acoustic wave therapy (AWT).

Peeling around eyes
Date: 11/9/2011
I started using Retin A about two weeks ago. Suddenly it started peeling around my eyes and sensitive thin skin. The corners of my mouth and nose are terribly sore, and I don't apply the cream even close to this areas. I don't get a lot of sleep, and am diabetic and had an operation about 2 weeks ago, just after starting to use Retin A. Can any of these facts have an influence on the sensitivity of my skin. It really hurt, should I stop using it for a while?

AskDocWeb: According to the product information, if you have sensitive skin, the use of Retin-A may cause your skin to become excessively red, puffy, blistered, or crusted. If this happens, notify your doctor, who may recommend that you discontinue the medication until your skin returns to normal, or adjust the medication to a level that you can tolerate.

Retin-A and facial spider veins
Date: 11/13/2011
I have been using retin a for 6+ months for acne (I am 50 years old and still get acne around my chin/mouth area). I am not sure of the results as of yet because I still get breakouts monthly. I have oily skin and so very few wrinkles for my age however for the few I have it seems to have soften them somewhat. I am concerned that retin a will make my facial spider veins worse or more prominent, is this possible?

AskDocWeb: Retin-A has been reported to cause spider veins and make existing spider veins worse. That doesn't happen in every case but it is a possibility.

Permanent damage?
Date: 11/15/2011
I was prescribe Retin A to help clear up my pimples after the birth of my daughter. I was doing ok on it until the 5 week when I notice that an area around my chin was very red and dry. My doctor had advised me to use just a little amount on the infected area, and I followed her direction. Then one day I notice a buring sensation around my chin area and it felt like I was burnt. The area was very dry, red and blotcy. I stopped the retin a and it's been 4 weeks now and I'm noticing that patches of skins keeps on coming off. My face has multiple patches and by the chin area it's very uneven and bumpy. There is no pimple but my chin is very red. Will my bumps ever even out in that area or will this be permanently damaged done to my skin?

AskDocWeb: You would need to have a dermatologist evaluate the skin to determine the extent of the damage and how long it might persist. It may help to get a care program while you are there to minimize the time it takes to heal.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2010-2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report Retin-a and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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