Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage, page 16

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: Skin peel?
Date: 9/4/2006
I use Retin-A every night, and lots of moisturizer’s during the day. In order for the retin-A to help my skin, doesn’t it have to peel first? (I don’t have acne, just using it to improve skin tone) Thanks for your time.


AskDocWeb: Although some redness and scaling are common reactions when first starting Retin-A, not everyone will experience that.

Subj: Retin-A micro
Date: 9/10/2006
I used Retin-A micro for about 6 months. I tried everything possible before trying Retin-A micro. At first my face was dry and flaky but my acne was clearing up. Then my mother-in-law told me the secret to using Retin-A micro. She said that she used to use Retin-A many, many years ago and her dermatologist told her that after she put it on at night, she needed to put eucerin cream over it–the really heavy kind. It will be greasy but it won’t cause you to break out and it will help with the flaking. I tried it and it was like magic! The peeling and flaking were gone as well as my acne! I just bought the Wal-mart brand of the eucerin cream. It was a miracle!


Subj: Long time Retin A user
Date: 9/10/2006
I am 52 and have used Retin A for 30 years. Initially my dermatologist prescribed it for acne around my mouth, but he encouraged me to use it on my whole face. I am so glad I followed his advice. I constantly get compliments on my skin and people do not believe my age. They think I am 10 years younger and my husband agrees. I believe it prevented wrinkles by the constant cell turnover. But, for anyone who is trying to diminish wrinkles they already have, they will have to be in it for the long run. Definitely more than one year; it takes several years to resolve the abuse sun has done to your skin. It will help those with acne very quickly, but even these problems can take 6 to 12 months for complete control.
One thing for women is that those acne eruptions that come from deeper within the skin and are caused by monthly hormones cannot be controlled with Retin A, so you will still have that issue. And finally: I stay out of the sun, wear 30+ sunscreen, use Cetaphil cleanser (or other mild cleanser) wear a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen in it, and don’t smoke (it causes terrible wrinkles around the eyes from squinting because of the smoke and around the mouth from puffing away)!


Subj: Having problems with retin a
Date: 9/12/2006
I started breaking out in my 20s and have been using retin a for about a month and a half… my skin has never looked worse! It’s both dry, flaky, oily and completely broken out. I’m trying to stick with it but I can’t tell if it’s helping at all.


AskDocWeb: If you are still having problems after six weeks then you may be applying too much each time. If you skip a day once in a while and use less each time it will give your skin a chance to adjust.

Subj: Life long use?
Date: 9/12/2006
Can one use retino (mild potency ) for life long ( Yes taking precautions on not getting exposed to sun or wearing sun screen always)?? I do not have a sensitive skin and generally respond very well to retino A .


AskDocWeb: We realize that spelling varies in different countries and since you are outside the USA you may be referring to a different product, maybe not. If you are asking about Retin-A, several women have reported using it for years with very good results.

Subj: Starting to peel
Date: 9/13/2006
I have only used retin-a for a few days and my face is dry and starting to peel, what can I apply to it so it doesn’t peel even more?


AskDocWeb: This is a stage that your skin goes through when first starting treatment. Your skin has to peel in order to get the new revitalized appearance. You could reduce the amount used to reduce this affect but you would be prolonging the time it takes for your skin to adjust to the medication.

Subj: Does Retin-A-Micro damage the liver?
Date: 9/20/2006
Is Retin-A-Micro damaging to the liver at all or is it safe for someone to use that has liver disease?


AskDocWeb: There was some evidence that Retin-A-Micro caused liver tumors in the animal testing but we haven’t been able to locate the details. Best to talk with your doctor before using this product.

Subj: Redness
Date: 9/20/2006
I’ve been using Retin-A for 7 weeks, and experiencing redness. I’m wondering if the redness stops after awhile or it will stop after I stop using the medication.


AskDocWeb: The redness typically stops after a while. It will also stop if you discontinue the medication. A small number (about 1%) of Retin-A users have a severe skin irritation including severe dryness and wheel shaped skin eruptions, characterized by clear margins and pale centers. This is a reaction that indicates use should be discontinued.

Subj: Normal cycle for retin-a?
Date: 9/23/2006
I had started using retin-a about 2 months as an acne preventative/treatment. The first few weeks worked fine, then I started getting a lot of acne at once. It has since gotten back to normal, I still get one or 2 pimples, and presumed that using it would help to eliminate ALL of my acne. Is this the normal cycle for retin-a? If I keep using it will my acne eventually subside?


AskDocWeb: Yes it should but you’ll have to be patient.

Subj: Burnt face
Date: 9/26/2006
I used the Obagi system nu-derm with Retin A about 2 months ago for like a week, and I just remember I had so much itching and redness so I discontinued the use. However, my dermatologist told me to use it because “it’s the best product out there.” So, I started to use it again about 4 or 5 days ago, and my face is so unbelievably red and itchy. My face actually looks BURNT, but I don’t even go out in the sun. I will discontinue use, and I am going back to the dermatologist, but I was wondering if the redness and burt-ness will go away? Please tell me it will! I have been crying so much because, well… the results were far from what I expected. Please respond to my question – will the redness and burnt-ness go away?


AskDocWeb: Yes, the redness will go away, it is not permanent. Some people that are extremely hypersensitive just can’t use it.

Subj: Retin-A or salycilic acid
Date: 9/26/2006
When I was on birth control pills, my skin was absolutely wonderful. I’m no longer on the pill b/c my husband and I are trying to start a family. As a result, I’m now breaking out in zits, on my forehead and around my mouth. They start of as clogged pores or blackheads. I’ve been using retin-a to treat this. Is this safe for me, or should I just stick to salycilic acid? How does salycilic acid work?


AskDocWeb: You can use either one but Retin-A carries a warning against use while nursing.

Subj: Adult acne
Date: 9/28/2006
I’m a 44 year old woman and been using Retin-A for about 6 weeks primarily for acne. (Oprah needs to do a show on adult acne; mine is worse than when a teen.) My skin is very, very oily (no wrinkles at least!), so don’t use moisturizer except for eye area and neck; skin is fair and on sensitive side. Since starting Retin-A, it’s a bit irritated and redder (“feels” thinner). I wear sunblock every day and follow directions — except I’ve been continued to use my ProActive cleanser and Benzoil Peroxide 3% lotion in mornings (use Retin-A w/ mild soap at night). After reading this website, Dr’s notes and reader comments, I’ll stop using the ProActive TODAY. I was using Retin-A on my chest, too, at 1st, but noticed wrinkling after just few days, so stopped applying there; use only on my face now. I’ll discuss with Dr. on follow-up appointment in couple of weeks.

Martha in Big D

Subj: 0.04% Retin A for a month
Date: 9/29/2006
I just started using Retin A about a month ago. My skin does not appear to be improving at all, in fact it only seems to be getting worse. I use the 0.04% kind. I am getting many more pimples than before, and several are larger than usual, I have always had small pimples, but lots of them, my acne looks more like a rash zits, but now I am starting to get verifiable zits! My doctor prescribed a benzoyl peroxide wash at night and Cetaphil in the morning, and to use Retin A at night three times a week. Because of my lack of improvement, I’m wondering if I should use it 5 times a week. I mean, my skin is certainly not irritated, it gets a little flaky but it is not red and not sore and not irritable (and I have sensitive skin!) So, would it hurt to increase to 5 times a week? Also, while I know the retin A might help my acne, it isn’t doing anything for the skin discoloration that is the scars from my previous acne, is it supposed to or will I have to get a chemical peel after all this is over to get rid of the previous scarring?


AskDocWeb: You will need to be patient because it does take awhile. Since you’ve been using it for a month now, you could talk to your doctor about using it more often. It is also available in higher dosages but may or may not do anything for the scarring.

Subj: Embarrassing acne
Date: 9/29/2006
I have been using retina 0.5% for about 6 weeks now, every night, religiously. my skin hasn’t been this broken out ever! Not even in high school. I originally started because I’ve had these small white bumps on my cheeks that I could not get rid of. They seem to be improving, somewhat. but I am embarrassed to go out due to the acne. Does anyone know how long this should last? Should I keep it up?


AskDocWeb: You should have seen improvement after 2-3 weeks, so we suggest you see your physician.

Subj: Antibacterial facial cleanser
Date: 9/30/2006
Hi, is it safe to use Retin-A after washing up with ‘Freederm lotion’ (antibacterial facial cleanser)?


AskDocWeb: That depends on the ingredients of the lotion. You are not suppose to use abrasive cleansers, medicated cosmetics or skin preparations containing alcohol. These may increase the risk of skin irritation. Also avoid using topical drugs containing benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, or sulfur.

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