Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage

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. You can use the form below to add your comments, feedback or Retin-a review.

Subj: Retin-A around eyes?
Date: 11/19/2003
I’ve been using Retin-A for a little over 2 weeks in hopes of reducing some wrinkles around my eyes. I have been applying the medicine on my entire face, including on the skin directly under my eyes. I know one’s skin tends to look worse upon initial use of the product but should get better with time. Therefore, the wrinkles under my eyes currently look worse, and I am wondering if this is because my skin is becoming dry by using the medication and thus making my wrinkles more visible. Will my wrinkles begin to fade over time or am I not supposed to apply this medication to the sensitive skin under my eyes? Thank you.


AskDocWeb: The manufacturer says to keep it away from your eyes, mouth, nose, and mucous membranes.

Subj: Retin-A around eyes
Date: 2/8/2004
I apply Retin-A to my eye area, will this do damage to my eyes? My eye area also looks more wrinkled since I have been using Retin-A. My eye area is where most of my wrinkles are. Can you recommend something for the wrinkles in my eye area if I shouldn’t use the Retin-A there.

Thanks so much for your help. I have looked all over the net for good answer about Retin-A and I haven’t been able to find any. Thanks again


AskDocWeb: The manufacturer does say not to use Retin-A around your eyes.

Subj: more bad than good
Date: 2/27/2004

I have been using Retin-A for a year now. Went through the rough stage and everything calmed down. My skin was looking good until I noticed more spider veins and facial hair, yes, facial hair. I have been using it with the obagi system. Well now I am going to another doctor to have veins removed. My first dermatologists said she never heard of these two side effects. Well she should do a bit of research. Retinoids are known to enhance hair growth. The medicine thins the skin also. Not to mention you can’t go out in the sun. Try avoiding that with three kids. I am looking for a better system now and someone to remove my blonde hairs on my face. Retin a does more bad than good.


Subj: Usage
Date: 3/19/2004
Stupid question.. What good is it to use the product on the fleshy portions of the skin rather than the eyes…the product feels to tighten the skin and if you don’t use it entirely then your gonna have funny spots, I would think. I am not into surgery for my face yet, but isn’t there something that you can put all over and that will give you that lessening of the wrinkles?

Also, I use this product for my acne, for whatever reason I cant see, I’d rather get back onto the accutane and do a second treatment rather than a topical one. I moved mid treatment and I never got to finish it, and now that I have a new doctor here I am completely frustrated. Maybe I should go to a new doctor and make like I never even used the accutane before, and get em to put me on it… I am just sick of acne, being 34 years old, I would like just once to have nice skin before the wrinkles all set in! Doesn’t anyone else get frustrated with all of this like I am? What kind of products could be better all around? I know we all want instant fix, but I have completely had my fill!


AskDocWeb: I’m sure there are many that share your frustration. Maybe we should start a study on wrinkle products. Let us know if you want to to that.

Subj: Using Retin a with vitamin supplement
Date: 3/24/2004

Hi, Before I knew I was pregnant I used Retin a on and off on problem areas. I also took a vitamin supplement with 8,000IU of vitamin A. Taken together this seems like a pretty high dose. Is there any reason for alarm?


AskDocWeb: When you are pregnant, always tell your doctor about any supplements you are taking, as well as prescription drugs. And then follow your doctor’s instructions.

Date: 4/3/2004
Could the use of Retin A cause depression or a change in attitude? Thanks


AskDocWeb: Those were not listed as side effects by the manufacturer.

Date: 4/14/2004
Well this is what it is, never combine benzyl peroxide with retin-a it will just BURN YOU! Trust me, you would rather have your skin peeled then burnt to death. But the friggin spots keep on coming and coming and my skin tone gets worse and worse and for someone with brown skin and you have these multicolour areas on your face with pigmentation marks. It really stops you from sleeping. I live in london and I see my dermatologist once every 3 months. The guy don’t do no research on new acne stuff. I was given retin-a (after persuadin him) to basically tone out my skin. I JUST WANT NORMAL PLAIN SKIN. I dont want to look like a supermodel, just NORMAL SKIN PLEASE GOD!! Retin-a seems to bruize my face alot, lot of peeling and scathing. I use mosturiser to calm it down. I will go back to see doc in June. Till then I will see what happens. I refused to go on roaccutane cos side effects with retin a are bad enuff. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS EVERYONE.


Subj: How long can Retin-a be used?
Date: 5/7/2004
How long can Retin A be used? I’ve used it for 5 months now, and when I stopped for 5 days, pigmentation re-appeared. Thank you.


AskDocWeb: The longest usage we have feedback on, is 4 years. That woman’s doctor told her that, in very rare cases, patients may develop adverse effects to Retin-a, even if the drug seemed effective in the early stages. If you notice a change for the worse, stop using it and talk to a dermatologist.

Subj: With water?
Date: 5/9/2004
I bought some generic Retin-A in Mexico and have used it twice. It makes my face flaky, red patches, blotchy and almost looks chemically burned. I put on a tiny, tiny bit but with some water too. Do you think the water is what caused the seemingly bad reactin? Should NO water be used in the application? I did this without any input from a physician. As it is right now I don’t think I will ever use this stuff again. I just want to diminish (really banish) wrinkles. Thank you.


AskDocWeb: The directions say to apply Retin-A to clean, dry skin. That probably means NO water.

Subj: Over 2 years
Date: 5/22/2004
I have been using Retin A for over 2 years. It has been the best thing that has happened to my skin. I feel it looks very nice, comparing to how it looked before I used it. Even though I use it for acne I see less wrinkles. I recommend Retin A to everyone. Hey and don’t worry about sun burn, just use sun block. That’s it.


Subj: Rash
Date: 5/24/2004
I used Retin a on the neck and chest and stopped for about 1 week. Sat in the sun and have red hive like rash and I have been doing this for about 1 year. Is the rash from the retin a or is there something wrong with my skin? Also, the rash is only in some spots and some spots where there is no retin a applied – help.


AskDocWeb: Because the rash appears on spots where you did not apply Retin-a, it could be hives. A hive like rash is one of the signs of an allergic reaction. Please see your doctor about this.

Subj: Positive things
Date: 6/17/2004
I have used retin-a for over 15 years now. I have gone up to three months not using it and then went back when I thought my face was tending to break out. It comes in different strenghts. The gel form is harsher than the cream form, plus both gel and cream come in multiple percentage levels. If you’re having irritation, dry, and peeling skin your probably need to try a lower level in a cream. After getting older I found it necessary to use a sunblock on my face or I develop a few brownish spots they call hyperpigmentation. Overall – I can’t say enough positive things about retin-a. It takes care of my acne and the wrinkle reduction is a bonus!


Subj: No adverse reactions
Date: 6/19/2004
I have use Retin-A most of my adult life. My dermatologist prescribed .1% when I was 23. I did have the dry pealing skin in the beginning, and sometimes I will have it in the winter. I use .05% now and I am 49 years old. My skin is as oily now as it ever has been. People my age have a lot more wrinkles than I. I have had no adverse reactions. I protect my face when I’m in the sun because of the sensitivity to it. I use Retin-A because of my oily skin. I have wondered if my skin would be this oily had I never used it, but I suppose I will never know.


Subj: Almost no wrinkles
Date: 6/23/2004
I have been using retin-A since invented…I am 70 years old, almost no wrinkles, complimented on skin, no more brown spots, love the product. I have always used it very sparingly to prevent problems and avoid sun as it causes photosensitivity, shall use it forever


Subj: Red eye?
Date: 6/29/2004
I have been using retin-a for a few weeks and I love what it has done for my acne–almost gone—but I started to notice that after I applied it at night, the next morning my right eye was slightly swollen and red. I continued use and now my right eye every morning is swollen and very red inside–my other eye is just fine. Could this be a side effect of retin-a?? I really think it is but I don’t know how serious to take this or? Thanks,


AskDocWeb: Yes, red, puffy skin is listed among the possible side effects. As you probably know, the directions say you should notify your doctor about this.

Subj: Precancerous spots
Date: 7/3/2004
My sister used Retin-A as prescribed by her doctor for precancerous spots. I’m not sure if it is working or not. Has anyone had a similar situation?


Subj: Using Retin A around the eyes
Date: 7/6/2004
I know that the Retin-A manufacturer says to keep the cream away from your eyes, but I want to know whether it would be possible to slightly and carefully put some cream around the eyes, in order to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. What are the possible complications that could occur? Are they horrible and irreversible? What’s the worse that could happen? I would greatly appreciate a response.


AskDocWeb: The possible complications of using Retin-a around your eyes include a burning sensation, itching, peeling of the skin, redness in your eyes, stinging, puffy swelling, blistering and crusting, and severe irritation.

Subj: Making enlarged pores smaller
Date: 7/18/2004
Retin A (or Acid A Vit as it is called in Europe) is a wonder drug to me. After a period of some years of having had an oily skin, I suffered from enlarged clogged pores, filled with sebum, in my face, especially my nose. Retin-A appears to be the only drug I tried that is actually capable of making those enlarged pores smaller again, and finally disappear. But it takes time and patience: I am using it for over a year now. Additional benefits are that clogged pores are much easier to clear by simply pushing the sebum out. And the general appearance of the face area treated with Retin-a looks much better, skin looks more youthful.

No Name

Subj: Retin A for 15 years
Date: 7/26/2004
I’ve used Retin A for 15 years. I am 55 years old. I do not have any wrinkles. I would not use it around my eyes. I receive a lot of compliments on my skin. I have had friends use it because of the results I received. I use it at night after I have washed my face-let dry for at least 20 minutes. I wash in the mornings with oil of olay soap. At first you will have some peeling and drying. I started out with the lowest dosage. I now use the highest with NO problems at all. I also use oil of lay moisturizer, make sure you use the ones without perfumes.


Subj: Even out coloration
Date: 7/31/2004
I just started taking retin A after finding a 40g tube in a Mexican farmacia for $14 over the counter. So far (after using it for 3 days) my face feels like it’s being stung by bees, but my arms are having no bad reaction. I am testing the Retin A on my arms due to them having that irritating red bumps that never go away and that look like a chronic rash. Does anyone have any suggestions for that problem? Does Retin A help to even out the coloration?


Subj: Worse break-outs
Date: 8/3/2004
I have been on Retin A for one week and my face seems to have gotten worse. I have been having worse break-outs than before I started. Is this normal?


AskDocWeb: Yes, 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. This is not a reason to discontinue therapy, but do notify your doctor if it occurs. You should begin to notice positive results after 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. More than 6 or 7 weeks of treatment are needed before consistent beneficial effects appear.

Subj: A real difference
Date: 8/3/2004
Everyone should use Retin-A. Sure, it’s a rough ride compared to the do-nothing drugstore creams, but it makes a real difference. You will see your skin change for the better over the months; softer, smoother, refined pores, fresher, younger. You have to peel off a bunch of dead gluey skin before you can see all that though. It’s a harsh product but I still think it’s the greatest – also, use the Micro version, it’s worth the extra.


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