Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage, page 13

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: Perioral dermatitis?
Date: 4/28/2006
I am using Retin-A for my nose, to control and diminish my blackheads. After trying .25 and .5% dosages, I am now seeing results at .1%. I have been on it for over a month, and my nose is quite red. However, I’m hoping that in a month or so, all the blackheads will be gone. I am also wondering if there is a correlation between the Retin-A use, and the slight perioral dermatitis that I have developed around my chin. My dermatologist prescribed Minocycline for me, and I am using that with the Retin-A.


Subj: Starting to have wrinkling
Date: 5/1/2006
I am 52 years old and am starting to have a little wrinkling and sagging under the neck and throat area. Is it beneficial to use retin-A micro in this area to prevent the sagging, or will it just dry it out too much?


AskDocWeb: Retin-A is for acne, but Renova will help with small wrinkles. Except for a facelift, there isn’t anything available to help with a sagging chin or bags beneath the eyes. It’s just the cost of living longer.

Subj: Little blisters
Date: 5/3/2006
I have been using Retin-A for 3 or so years on and off. I normally do not have any problems with it, but lately I have been getting little blister like bumps on my cheeks. I switched from a gel to a cream. Would this make a difference? Thanks,


AskDocWeb: No, switching from a cream to a gel will not help. You should see your doctor on these blister type of things, or maybe a dermatologist. Blistering is a listed side effect of this drug. Abrasive cleansers, medicated cosmetics, skin preparations containing alcohol may increase risk of skin irritation. You can stop the drug if temporary worsening of inflammatory lesions occurs or your dosage can be readjusted.

Date: 5/5/2006
Hi, my question is does retinae have vitamin a in it & if so, can it cause hair loss?


AskDocWeb: It does have vitamin A in it but there is no mention of hair loss in side effect reports.

Subj: Dark spots
Date: 5/5/2006
Stupidly, I read about Retin-A being able to help stretch marks. So, early this week, I tried it once and it seemed fine. I tried it again and my skin started peeling and now I have dark spots on where I applied it. Is there any way to make them go away?


AskDocWeb: This is just a temporary affect that will go away in a few days.

Subj: Horrible experience with Retin-A
Date: 5/10/2006
I’ve had acne since I was 12 (now 19) and when I tried Retin-A, it made my horribly red, too sensitive to touch, and my acne got considerably worse. At nights, I would cry because my face hurt so badly. No one with acne should go through with this! I had to discontinue this product immediately. Just thought I would share my story.


Subj: Inflamed puckering and flaking
Date: 5/11/2006
I have been using Retin-A for 15 years and have been told that my skin looks years younger. However for the past year my skin started puckering with deep wrinkles so I stop using it. Most of it eventually flakes off exposing soft skin underneath and I start using it again but the cycle repeats. The short time after it flakes off the skin looks good but shortly after I start using it again the severe puckering stage starts. Is there something to use in conjunction with Retin-A to stop the skin from puckering? By on & off use am I creating an unnatural cycle? Is the puckering/wrinkling cycle an indication that I should stop using it? During the inflamed puckering and flaking stage I look 10 years older than I am and it is very embarrassing, but when I stop using it for awhile the irritation clears and my skin looks younger again. I don’t know what to do. Hope someone can help me!


AskDocWeb: We suggest you seeking advise from a dermatologist. This cycle you are going through is not normal and you may be damaging your skin by continuing with the product. Be careful.

Subj: NO wrinkles
Date: 5/14/2006
I have a friend who is a little older than I (I am almost 59) and she has NO wrinkles on her face. She is just lovely. She says the reason for her skin being in this beautiful condition is her faithful use of Retin-A for 15 years, and staying out of the sun! I have just started using Retin-A and plan to follow her advice exactly! But I notice the Doc’s comments for lines above the top lip are to use Renova. Why not Retin-A? Should I use Retin-A all over the face, neck and chest, and Renova just above the mouth?


AskDocWeb: Using Retin-a on your chest is not recommended, nor is using both products together. Pick one or the other. Your skin may appear worse for the first two weeks as it adjusts but should start improving in 2-3 weeks.

Subj: Combining treatments
Date: 5/16/2006
I have been using Retin-A Micro 0.04% for approximately six weeks, in combination with two other prescriptions: sulfur cleansing cloths and finacea gel. My dermatologist recommended adding the Retin-A to the other two prescriptions, and so far it is working brilliantly. Although, because I am on two other prescriptions at the moment, it might be a combination of the three. My skin is much clearer and smoother, and I have not suffered the irritation that is listed as a side effect, despite the fact that I am very fair-skinned. After applying the Retin-A I apply a Neutrogena oil free moisturizer with SPF15 and I have not had any flakiness. I hope the product continues to work for me. One question: I read on this site that using sulfur-based products is to be avoided, and yet my dermatologist prescribed a sulfur cleansing cloth. Is that something I should ask her about? Thanks.


AskDocWeb: An interaction is possible (but not certain) when using topical drugs containing benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid or sulfur. They may increase risk of skin irritation. They state not to use them together. But you may not have an interaction with sulfur when used as your doctor directed, just be watchful of your skin.

Subj: Daytime use of Retin-A
Date: 5/16/2006
I’ve used Renova and Retin-A Micro off and on for years with good success in smoothing skin texture and lightening dark spots. However, I’ve recently been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and must wear a nasal mask at night. I’m afraid to use any skin products at night due to possible complications. What’s wrong with using tretinoin during the day as long as I use a good sunscreen as well? Any help would be appreciated.

AskDocWeb: You can use it during the day but use at least a SPF 15 sunscreen on your face.

Subj: Acne & hyperpigmentation
Date: 5/22/2006
Hi, I am dark complexioned with mild/moderate acne & hyperpigmentation. I was researching Retin-A Micro. Can you tell me if it will darken my overall complexion?/make the dark marks darker or make my mild acne worse? I am currently using Proactiv solution. Oh, also why is it that with any of these acne treatments, many people say that their acne tends to go away and then come back with a vengeance and then clear up again? Thank you,


AskDocWeb: No, it won’t darken your complexion, it will lighten it. It will improve acne, and yes there will be lesions. This is because your skin has to adjust to the med and they will go away within 2-3 weeks, it’s the way the pill works.

Subj: Love the stuff
Date: 5/23/2006
This stuff rules! I started using it about three weeks ago, and seriously–my skin looked better after three days. The overall texture had simply improved. Now I’m noticing tiny little lines disappearing, and an overall youthfullness returning to my skin. The pores on my nose have gotten smaller, the lines around my mouth are less noticeable, everything is smooth and even, and I am absolutely in LOVE with this medication. At first my skin was a little irritated, and there was a bit of dryness/flakiness, but this went away after the second week. Incidentally, I really think all the time I spent using Retinol before switching to Retin-A helped prepare my skin for the stronger stuff, because I didn’t get any of the negative side effects I’m reading about here. And I’m using the .05% strength, in cream form (not the gel) and I intend to keep using it forever or until something better comes along. Also, each day I cover my skin with a dry-touch sunblock, and avoid prolonged exposure, so I’m doing everything right as far as I know. Again, this stuff rules.


Subj: Terrible reaction
Date: 5/23/2006
I used accutane about 4 years ago and had a such terrible reaction that I had to stop taking it. I was one of the unlucky people who experienced psychological effects. I was wondering if Retin-A can cause or bring back those symptoms in someone who is very sensitive to medicine?


AskDocWeb: Yes, you are very likely to be very sensitive to retin-A also.

Subj: Skin breaking out
Date: 5/27/2006
I have been using retina micro for about 6 weeks and in the beginning my skin was improving but during the 4, 5 and 6 week I have been breaking out…is this the purging process? Is this normal? Will my skin get better and when? Should I stop using it?


AskDocWeb: Sounds like you may be applying too much. Talk to your doctor about this because your dosage may need to be adjusted. Some redness and scaling are normal reactions but that usually happens in the first few weeks of use.

Subj: Can’t take the sun
Date: 5/31/2006
I used to use Retin-A in high school and my skin cleared up and I didn’t need to use anything for years. After moving to a new city, I started using it again to clear my breakouts, but when I was in the sun, my skin broke out. What happened?


AskDocWeb: You are suppose to minimize exposure to sunlight during treatment because this drug makes your skin photosensitive. And if you become sunburned, you should delay therapy until sunburn subsides. If you cannot avoid exposure to sunlight use a SPF-15 (or higher) sunblock and wear protective clothing.

Subj: Bleaching creams
Date: 6/1/2006
There are several lines of skin care products that offer bleaching RX creams for dark brown spots. Glytone and Image Skin Care products have worked well for me. I have mixed both of the above with Retin A and have been very pleased. I mainly use them for acne and dark spots, but enjoy the added benefit of reducing the wrinkles. I have also had chemical peels that help a lot!!! Yes, I peel/flake a good bit, but the results are worth it. Word of advice… stay out of the sun…. the sun makes those spots come back.


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