Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage, page 37

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: Here is a challenging one
Date: 2/3/2008
I just started Retin-A cream 0.025% and I’m wondering if it would be okay to use a moisturiser with both SPF 15 and 0.5% Salicylic Acid during the day time assuming that I have none of the side effects associated Retin-A on these particular days. SPF 15 to protect me from the sun and Salicylic Acid to possibly reduce/prevent the inevitable breakouts that are part of the healing process of the Retin-A treatment. Basically I want the ultimate effects of Retin-A while keeping the breakouts to a minimum. Any suggestions?

Also, I have this Vitamin E ointment, (Per Gram – 60mg Vit-E, 7mg Vit-A (which is 0.007%), 20mg Pro B5 in a non-greasy vanishing base). For the last two days I’ve used it and have had flaking on my face, not too severe very thin but dark, is this the result of the Retinoic Acid? Is it possible that I’m allergic? Does regular retinoic-acid work the same as Retin-A (tretinoin)?


AskDocWeb: It is possible to be allergic but it is more likely to be the normal response to starting Retin-A. Remember the skin condition typically gets worse before it gets better. Since you have changes in skin color with flaking skin, and because you want to use creams and ointments with Retin-A, we suggest you consult with a dermatologist about what will work for your particular skin type. They can also tell you if you are allergic or not. The directions caution against the use of Salicylic Acid with Retin-A.

Subj: Acne scars?
Date: 2/3/2008
I recently purchased Retin-A 0.05%, will this product help reduce my acne scars?


AskDocWeb: Retin-a has helped others reduce scarring but remember, a little goes a long way. Those who run into problems are usually the ones who apply too much.

Subj: No expiration date
Date: 2/4/2008
I am using Retin-A to try and get rid of black heads and large pors and hoping it will make some of my wrinkles less noticeable. I am 61 yr old, is it too late for this help? The product has no expiration date…how long should it be good? I have had it about 4 years.


AskDocWeb: Since there is no expiration date there is no way to know for sure if it is good or not. Please do not take chances with old medications. And 61 is not too late, just remember that there is an adjustment period and go easy with it.

Subj: Tried everything
Date: 2/4/2008
Hi. I’ve been using Retin-A Micro for over 6 months now. Before this, I’ve tried every cream/lotion out there for acne. I also had chemical peels, yag laser, and microdermabrasion. I’ve spaced all these out because I know you only see results after you’ve used something for so long. But when I first starting using Retin-A Micro I noticed a change for the better after the first few months, so I continued using it. Now, the longer I’ve used it, my skin became the way it used to be, more acne. Is it possible that some people just can’t get rid of acne? I’ve spent so much trying to get rid of it and I really think there’s nothing out there for me. I’ve also kept up with healthy eating habits because I’ve read that can have something to do with it. It’s really depressing! Any advice?


AskDocWeb: It may be helpful to make a distinction between treatments and cures. If you take a cure then you don’t have the condition or disease anymore. A treatment affects the symptoms, which may be improved, but the underlying condition or disease remains. When a treatment is discontinued, the underlying condition or disease may return. Retin-A is a treatment for acne that can produce good results but it is not a cure. Medical science has not yet reached the point where it can cure acne.

Subj: Two questions
Date: 2/5/2008
Two questions: 1. Should you have a blood test periodically to test level of build-up in liver when using Retin-A? and 2. Can Retin-A use cause increased facial hair growth?


AskDocWeb: Information published by the manufacturer does not indicate a need for periodic liver tests but this is something you need to discuss with your doctor, especially if you have had any liver related problems in the past. And for number two, there have been a few reports of unwanted hair growth but that is not listed as a side effect of Retin-A.

Subj: My whole face is like an oil slick
Date: 2/5/2008
I’ve been using Retin A along with the Obagi nuderm system for 12 weeks now. My skin is really improving, my acne has cleared up, and the red marks are finally starting to fade somewhat. However, one thing I’ve noticed is my skin has gotten extremely oily! It happens when I wake up in the morning, and abut an hour after putting my make-up on my whole face is like an oil slick where I’m constantly having to blot my face with tissue and my makeup tends to slide off. This did not happen before I started this treatment. So, my question is, does this sound normal? Could the Retin A be causing this? What could be happening?


AskDocWeb: Since this has not been reported to happen with Retin-A we have to wonder if there may be something in the Obagi system that causes it. You might experiment with discontinuing one product at a time over several days to find out which one is causing the problem.

Subj: Don’t use it every night
Date: 2/7/2008
I read lots of comments, and I’ve also been an esthetican for 10 years. Retin-A is not for everyone. I have really thick skin and my skin can’t even have Retin-A every night. In my years of giving skin treatments the ladies I’ve meet with amazing skin always say Retin-A. I ask what the secret is for not having red irritated skin. They always say don’t use it every night. I’ve found that to be true. I’ve been using it for almost 1 year now, but back off when my skin looks red, and irritated. Then when the cells have a chance to repair I use it again till the peeling and irritation happens. I think if you have the skin type to handle Retin-A using lightly and not over doing it, can make you have great skin if your in for the long haul.


Subj: Efudex
Date: 2/8/2008
I just went through a three week treatment with a product called Efudex, the dark brown spots were the thing to be affected by the Efudex. They are hardly noticeable now.

Sun Lover

AskDocWeb: Efudex is an anti-cancer (“antineoplastic” or “cytotoxic”) chemotherapy drug and is classified as an “antimetabolite.”

Subj: Skin has become dry and shiny
Date: 2/10/2008
Hi, I’ve been using retin-a for over a week and my skin has become so dry and shiny. I’m afraid things will only get worse. The shine on my face is probably exfoliated skin? But it’s getting worse because what began with spots of shine is now spreading through out my face. Should I continue the usage of retin-a or should I wait until my face heals?


AskDocWeb: You may have read that the secret is to not overdo it, not use it every night. That seems to work for many people.

Subj: Reducing facial lines and smoothing facial skin
Date: 2/11/2008
I have been using retin a gel 0.025% for 2 months now every other day at night time only and have noticed slight peeling. I am 42 and purchased this product for reducing facial lines and smoothing my facial skin. On the days that I don’t use the retin a, I use a glycolic acid skin resurfacer by Jan marini. Is this ok to do. I always wear a high sunblock but my face is still quite sensitive to the sunlight.


AskDocWeb: The question is, are getting the results you want? After two months of use any problems would have shown up by now.

Subj: Don’t see any results
Date: 2/12/2008
I have been using retin a for 5 weeks now and I don’t see any results at all, my face isn’t peeling or anything, the acne just isn’t improving. I feel like giving up cause I have been fighting this for more than a year now and nothing seems to be working.


AskDocWeb: You should have begin to notice results by now. Please talk to your doctor because your dosage may need to be adjusted.

Subj: How close under the eyes
Date: 2/13/2008
I started using retin a about 8 weeks ago, I went to Mexico, took a break and am back on it. I can not find a black or white head on my face to save my life. The first 2 weeks I almost went off as it burned my skin. My pharmacist told me to mix it with my night cream and that made it better. I do put it all over my face neck and chest. The pharmacist assured me it was ok to do that. I just don’t know how close under the eyes I can go, any suggestions?


AskDocWeb: Be careful to not get it so close to your eyes that will get in them. You will know if you get it too close because of a burning sensation, itching, peeling of the skin, redness in your eyes, stinging, puffy swelling, blistering, crusting, and severe irritation.

Subj: Retin-a from Mexico caused serious problems
Date: 2/15/2008
I have 2 friends that use Retin-a. One of them uses the prescription, and the other bought the drug from Mexico. The Retin-a that the friend bought was some high percentage, like 25%? But I’m not real sure. It was something that was extraordinarily higher than the prescribed version. Anywho. She got lumps under her armpits, and when she got them checked out, they asked where she got the retin-a from, and she said Mexico. The drug apparently swelled the sweat glands under her arm pits, and then they shriveled, and are no longer functional. I just wanted to tell everyone to not buy the cheaper Retin-a from another country, and that too much can really cause some serious problems. Not just irritation. Her sweatgland under her armpits will never work again…


Subj: Retin-A, combined with obagi
Date: 2/16/2008
I have been using retin-a, combined with obagi products for the dark spots on my face. The side effects lasted for about 3 weeks, but it was worth it. No more dark spots and my skin looks so healthy!


Subj: Old tubes of Retin-A
Date: 2/18/2008
I used retin-a for several years for fine lines and age spots. I discontinued a year ago after having a lifestyle face lift. I would like to begin using it again for lines that are starting to develop around my eyes and upper lip. I have a couple of tubes left from prior use. Do they expire, and can I begin to use again?


AskDocWeb: Yes, they do expire but you may have to look closely to find that date. With medication it is safer to follow the rule, “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Subj: Acne has gotten worse
Date: 1/29/2008
I used Retin-A for about 1 week then I quit using it because it dried up my skin so bad even with moisturizer that it started bleeding I also had more pimples. So now it’s been 1 month since I quit and it seems like that since I used/quit using Retin-A that my acne has gotten worser than before I started using it. What should I do?? What can I do to make my face turn back to normal?


AskDocWeb: You can continue using a moisturizer and stay out of the sun as much as possible. If you can’t stay out of the sun then use a sunblock. For specific help with your skin type consult with a Dermatologist.

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