Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage, page 4

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: No stinging or discomfort with Retin-A
Date: 12/15/2004
I purchased my Retin A through the mail and started using it yesterday. I felt absolutely no stinging or discomfort at all. Is it normal for some people not to have that reaction or could my tube just be expired?


AskDocWeb: Yes, it is normal for people not to have a reaction to Retin-A. You are one of the lucky ones, but there is always a chance of some kind of reaction with use over time. It is a good idea to always check the expiration date on any medication or over the counter product before taking it.

Subj: Retin-a before laser surgery
Date: 12/17/2004
Why is retin-a use encouraged before laser surgery (facial resurfacing)and accutane is contraindicated? Aren’t the two medications identical except one is a topical cream and the other is a systemic pill? Thanks


AskDocWeb: The use of Retin A is probably encouraged because it starts the process of bringing up to the surface any skin problems that lie beneath. Accutane is for more severe acne. It would have more affect than is desired. They are similar but not identical products.

Subj: Greasy skin
Date: 12/22/2004
I’ve been using Retin-A for 3 days now. My skin has become red in certain areas and my acne is worse. I stopped using Zineryt last week to start this…and now my skin has become even more greasy. Should I continue?


AskDocWeb: It is common for acne to increase during the first three weeks of therapy. You may decrease the dosage and see if you get better results, then slowly increase the dose. Give your skin a chance to get used to the new medication. With this drug, you have to avoid high concentration of alcohol, astringents, spices or lime.

Subj: Salicylic acid
Date: 12/25/2004
I just started using Avita and it seems to be working. Then I noticed that my make-up contains .5% of Salicylic acid and that there is a caution against using both Avita and Salicylic acid together. What are the side affects of using the two together. My face seems to be getting better with no adverse side affects. Thanks for your time.


AskDocWeb: The .5% may not be enough to cause you any problems but if it does it is likely to show up as skin irritation.

Subj: Concern about using Avita while breastfeeding
Date: 12/27/2004
How safe is Avita for breastfeeding mothers? It only makes sense if the other causes birth defects why wouldn’t the other cause harm to my child?


AskDocWeb: Your concern is legitimate. Anything that says “caution” while nursing (like Avita) brings up a concern that it should not be used at all, if you want to be on the safe side.

Subj: Ingrown hair scars
Date: 12/31/2004
Hi, I have ingrown hair scars, as in the red dots from shaving that won’t go away. Will retin-A help them disappear? If not, what will? Thanks.


AskDocWeb: Retin-A will not help the scars from ingrown hairs, sorry.

Subj: Panic attacks
Date: 12/31/2004
I used topical Retin A for a couple of months and my skin looked incredible, no more brown spots, I was GLOWING like I was a teenager again, but then suddenly began to get severe panic attacks each time I applied it! Tried over a dozen times, no coincidence, it was a reaction! Anyone else have this happen?


AskDocWeb: I have not heard of anyone having panic attacks from using Retin-A, just skin reactions. Is there something else going on in your life that may need addressing?

Subj: Retin-a and pregnancy
Date: 1/7/2005
I noticed that it is suggested that you shouldn’t use retin-a if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Does this mean in the near future or for the rest of your life.


AskDocWeb: Just if you are pregnant now, planning on getting pregnant, or if you are not on birth control and could become pregnant at anytime, do not use retin-a. That does not mean that you are banned from using it for the rest of your life.

Subj: Pimples with period
Date: 1/13/2005
I have been using Retin-A for about 3 months now. I am 25 and just started breaking out around the time I get my period. I am still getting big pimples (whiteheads) around the same time I get my period. Should I just stop using it if it is not working? Please help!!! I am a model and an actress and I can’t handle these breakouts anymore!!!!


AskDocWeb: Aside from the pimples, are you satisfied with the results? Don’t stop using the retin-a just because you are getting pimples. You can treat them separately by using extra careful cleansing methods during menses, Use of a good facial cleanser with an astringent and facial masks will help calm them down.

subj: What strength?
date: 1/20/2005
once you start using retin a, for wrinkles, do you have to use it forever to control the wrinkles? I used it for about 3 years and saw an improvement, then stopped because of the cost. My face got in really bad shape, so I got the generic brand and have used it for about a year with no results. I’m still using tretinoin cream 0.1% and haven’t even had any peeling or redness. Should I go to the next strength? If so what is it? Thanks


AskDocWeb: You might want to double-check that dosage. It comes in 0.01%, 0.025%, 0.05% and 0.1% strengths. After a year of getting no results, maybe it’s time to try something else. I suggest you visit a dermatologist and have him recommend something specific for your type of skin.

Subj: Acne scarring
Date: 1/20/2005
Can Retin-A be used for treatment of acne scarring – pits and depressions?


AskDocWeb: Sorry Seeja, it may help with scarring but not as much for pits and depressions.

Subj: Bad reaction to Retin-A
Date: 1/26/2005
My dermatologist just put me on Retin-A four days ago, after finishing my six-month run of Accutane. The first two nights of using it, I noticed that it was burning a bit as I applied it. However, by the third day, it had progressed to an extremely red, swollen, blistering, peeling condition. I called my dermatologist and she said to stop using it. I haven’t used it for the past two days, but the condition still appears to be getting worse. I missed one day of school already, and have been in tears several times today due to the burning and the pain from it.

And the clincher: the dermatologist never mentioned any side effects of discussed the medication with me at all. Just handed me the prescription and essentially pushed me out the door after looking at my face for thirty seconds.

I’d like to advise possible Retin-A users to ask as many questions as possible about the medication before you being taking it. And I hope you have a better doctor than I did…


AskDocWeb: Thanks Lindsay, we second that!

Subj: Rash with Retin-A
Date: 1/27/2005
I have been using retin a and for the first time had a very severe rash, is it good to use cordizone to help with rash?


AskDocWeb: No, you should not be having a severe rash from this product. That is a sign that something is wrong and you need to visit your doctor. Our nurse says that using cortisone cream on your face is a bad idea.

Subj: Not getting the same results
Date: 1/28/2005
I used Retin A to clear my acne problem about 2 years ago and initially my skin got worse with peeling of skin and red irritation but after about a month or so it started to clear up and my skin was at it’s best. It was so clear and fresh that everyone kept asking me what I had done. But since then I’ve been under immense stress and spots have broken out again. I’ve resorted back to Retin A but this time it doesn’t appear to be having the same impact as before. I’m not sure whether I’m doing something wrong. I wonder whether it’s my application. I tend to put it on shortly after a facial wash at night and I also rub it in rather than dab. Is that where I’m going wrong?


AskDocWeb: The type of facial wash are you using could be effecting the Retin-A. You could try allowing more time between the facial and the application of Retin A. If you apply them too close together (time wise), your skin may absorb more Retin A than you want.

Subj: U need to tell people
Date: 1/28/2005
U need to tell people also not to apply retin-a to other parts of the body and anywhere your skin bends folds where basically retin-a can get trapped. People can get the wrong idea when they hear retin-a can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles stretch marks, then apply it on hands, abdomen, where when u do sit ups skin naturally gets wrinkled and redened, where skin bends and folds then it goes away. But if retin-a is applied there these lines won’t go away after stomach crunching. People might use it there to get rid of stretch marks or use it for chest acne because I was on it. I used it on my chest for chest acne and it made my nipples less nipply, also I used it on arms, made skin on the opposite side of elboys where your arm bends more wrinkley and made skin thiner. Also, say not to use it on the butt cause I used it there for acne, it made the bottom of my butt checks where the skin folds redened and worse wrinkled. Also need to say not to use it around moles and neck. I used it for acne on neck made neck wrinkles worse on front and back of neck and made mole on neck look bigger. Do they say since it makes your skin more sensitive to sun if it can also accelerates skin damage and makes moles get worse? I also think people who live in very sunny state should not be given retin-a higher than.025% creme, or not at all. I was prescribed this when I was 16 in the middle of the summer on my summer vacation in south Florida. I mean give me a break, even with sunscreen-block skin is still more sensitive to sun burn and basiclly I think retin-a is like acid on the skin. I was on.050% retin-a creme and it made my skin get worse the acne just caused irritation, made me depressed.


Subj: 29 years on Retin A
Date: 2/1/2005
Hi, I started using retin a at 15 for acne, I remember my doctor telling me stay on this and by the time you’re a lady you’ll look youthful. Well I have and now I am 44 and am complimented always. My husband is 10 years younger and when we first met he thought I was really young. I love it. I have no wrinkles. So after 29 years no one has ever came close to my real age. In fact my husband loves going to the clubs and waiting for the bartender to ask for id and they always do. Be patient, use it faithfully, wear sun block year round and you will definitely reap the benefits….god bless and peace,


Subj: Burning skin
Date: 2/7/2005
I have been using Retin-a micro for about a year now. First I was on the high dosage, then I went to the low dosage. Some day’s my skin looks better than others. My chin turns bright red and flakey, it feels burned. I am afraid to eat sometimes because when I open my mouth it hurts because it’s so tight. I barely put any on. When I wash my face with cetiphil or even just water it burns my skin. Is my skin just really sensitive? My chin also gets puffy and swollen. What’s wrong with it?


AskDocWeb: For some people, Retin-a micro causes hypersensitivity. You could take some time off from using it, like a week or so, and then try it again. That might tell you if this sensitivity is just temporary or not. It could go either way.

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