Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage, page 40

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: Too dry around mouth
Date: 5/3/2008
I used .1 Retin A for 13 years. My skin glowed but sometimes I would get too dry around my mouth. It eventually did nothing for my chin area, My doctor prescribed me .01 gel thinking it would counter the dryness but it does not work at all. Could I use the .01 two times a day or am I wasting my time with the .01?


AskDocWeb: There is a limit to how close to your mouth you can use it without causing problems. Remember the instructions say to keep it away from your mouth as well as from your eyes and nose.

Subj: Skin treatment questions
Date: 5/3/2008
I have several questions! Can you use retin-A around angles of the nose? Is retin-A good for getting rid of milia? Will retin-A help heal broken capillaries? What happens if you get retin-A on your lips? Will retin-A reduce the appearance of older scars(scars such as chicken pox scars)? Will retin-A cause broken capillaries? I would greatly appreciate some answers.


AskDocWeb: The manufacturer is not clear about just how close to the nose Retin-A can be used. They just say to keep it away from the eyes, nose, mouth, and mucous membranes. If you get too close to a taboo area there may be some painful inflammation of the skin.

Milia are essentially deep white heads but they rarely come to the surface by themselves. The use of Retin-A can help minimize the formation of milia but in order to get rid of them they have to be manually extracted.

It is vitamin K that helps in healing broken capillaries more than vitamin A products. Although Retin-A is not known to cause broken capillaries, the condition of the skin typically gets worse before it gets better after starting treatment. As for scars, it may smooth out minor scars but don’t expect much for deep ones.

Subj: Remove acne scars
Date: 5/5/2008
I have been using Retin-A 0.04% for the last two years mixing with GlycolicAcid-12%, Now my skin is free from scars. What I want to know is this drug safe for further 2 more years? or how many years I can use this in my lifetime?


AskDocWeb: We have not found an upper limit on how long this product can be used. Many women report using it for more than 10 and even 20 years.

Subj: Depression?
Date: 5/7/2008
I experienced a very dramatic feeling of depression when I was using retin-a as a 44 year old. It was a really good period of my life and the depression was so out of the blue that I was actually surprised. I mentioned it to my dermatologist and she said she’d never heard of that happening but that it could be possible. Now, my daughter is using it for acne, and she too, got severely depressed. I think this needs tp be investigated. I just read an e-mail from a mental health professional asking about this. I hope anyone who has experienced this will write in and let their dermatologists and doctors know.


Subj: Face is peeling
Date: 5/14/2008
I love this product but, it keeps making my face peel. I am really embarrassed to go outside. Is this normal for me to peel? How long will it take for my face to stop peeling?


AskDocWeb: You should begin to notice results after 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. More than 6 or 7 weeks of treatment may be needed before consistent beneficial effects appear. If you have peeling beyond that you may be using too much or your skin may be too sensitive.

Subj: What is the difference?
Date: 5/27/2008
I have enlarged pores and acne I have been on retin a micro for two years. What is the difference between the retina s and trention and taxeract. Which is better for reducing pore size? Becky


AskDocWeb: Retin-A is a brand name of the generic drug Tretinoin. We are not familiar with taxeract. Is that a new product?

Subj: Dark spots?
Date: 5/29/2008
Is retin a good for dark spots on the face, age 60?


AskDocWeb: Yes, the manufacturer says Retin A is used to rebuild sun-damaged skin (damage from years of tanning), reduce or eliminate liver spots, wrinkles, brown or gray growths and even precancerous lesions.

Subj: How long can it be used
Date: 5/30/2008
I have been so happy using this product over the last two years. It has been the only medication to have real or lasting impact over the past ten years of adult acne – plus it makes my skin look wonderful. However I do notice that a five fruit veg a day diet is also needed to maintain healthy skin. I have a question though – how long can it be used for as my acne is still lurking.


AskDocWeb: There is no time limit on Retin-A so you can use it as long as you want.

Subj: Impatient for results
Date: 6/2/2008
I have been using retina 0.1 for almost 5 weeks now, it helped stopped most of the breakouts but my scarring left from over the years of acne haven’t improved. Is it safe for me to try a chemical peel or do I need a stronger dose. I’m beginning to get impatient for results I’ve been struggling with acne for almost 7 years now, and I am tired of being embarrassed about my appearance.


AskDocWeb: No, the use of a chemical peel while using Retin-A is not recommended.

Subj: I have some suggestions
Date: 6/5/2008
I have read many of the posts and have some suggestions. First, don’t use Retin-A that you bought in Mexico, only use the kind prescribed by a doctor and bought from a pharmacist here in the US.

Second, if you are having irritation from Retin-A and just started treatment, then it will probably go away soon. If after about 2 months, it still hasn’t gone away, switch to a lower dose. You also might try alternating with moisturizers, only using the Retin-A 2-3 times per week and the moisturizer the rest of the time. If you are using Retin-A for acne, another form is called Atralin. It is a lower dose of Retin-A especially for acne. Best results take about 12 weeks.

For regular Retin-A, I recommend the cream instead of the gel as it is less drying. I have been using it for years and have no wrinkles at all—I’m 37. Studies show that the longer you use the Retin-A, the more supple and elastic your skin will be. It will produce more collagen as well. Just remember to stay out of the sun and always use moisturizer. Hope this helps!


Subj: Large pores
Date: 6/5/2008
Hello, I am 24 years old and had sufferd from acne until my doctor prescribed some topical stuff that kills the bacteria on your face and since then I don’t break out, my problem is since I had acne for so long I have huge pores or holes in my face and don’t know what to do. It really affects me self esteem and I’d like to know if there’s anything out their that I could use to help my face??? (plus I have the oiliest skin in the world, it’s hard to keep makeup on my face and looks like I’m sweating all the time but I’m not it’s just all the oil on my face!!) Thanks!


AskDocWeb: You might try a chemical peel once a week with a good toner first.

Subj: Look at least 15 years younger
Date: 6/5/2008
I have used retin-a regularly (twice a month on average)on my face and neck/chest area since 1985, when it was prescribed for acne. It took care of the acne problem within months. Because I so love the total effect it has had on the quality of my skin, I have continued to use it. It definitely minimizes wrinkles and seems to “tighten” skin. I believe I look at least 15 years younger as a result of having used retin-a regularly. Here is my question and concern: My hands look at least 15 years older than my age. So, 9 months ago I started using retin-a on the back of my hands, daily. It has made a significant difference in the texture and appearance of my skin. I love the effect. So, of course, I am thinking of other body parts that look like they could benefit from the same treatment–like my knees and feet. But I am now wondering if this could be dangerous. I read recently that “they” don’t know the long term effects of retin-a use and if it transfers into your bloodstream as stated above, I am really concerned that I may have been foolish in my application of the product because of the effects this use may have had. PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS CONCERN. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.


AskDocWeb: Remember that Retin-A is intended for the treatment of acne and is only approved to be used on those areas where acne occurs, not for use on your hands or feet. There are no studies conducted on the use of Retin-A on other than approved areas. That is considered “off-label use” and while there may or may not be a benefit, there is little information available.

Subj: Tempted to go back on Retin A
Date: 6/5/2008
I used Retin A a few years ago. Made the face worse for the first few weeks but then was smooth clean and clear after for about one year. I am tempted to go back on Retin A again. Would you recommend it or not?


AskDocWeb: That is something you should discuss with your doctor. Our concern here is about sharing information on side effects.

Subj: Atralin and exposure to the sun
Date: 6/6/2008
Hi, I am using Atralin for a condition caused by Chinese herbs which “shrunk’ my fatty tissues leaving my skin looking very old! My dermatologist recommended Doxycycline (to inhibit the enzymes that break down the collagen and elastin) and atralin to stimulate the collagen and speed up the regeneration of my skin(which was left very loose by the herbs)! My question is…how long before exposure to the sun should I suspend the use of the gel? I am taking my kids on vacation and I would like to know if it is needed a certain period of “break” from Atralin before I can safely be in the sun! Thank you,


AskDocWeb: The manufacturer does not indicate any period of time that might be taken for a “break” to allow the skin to better withstand the sun. They just say to: “Spend as little time as possible in the sun. Use a daily sunscreen with a SPF 15 rating or higher, protective clothing, and a wide brimmed hat to protect you from sunlight. When outside, even on hazy days, areas treated with Atralin Gel should be protected. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds. Atralin Gel may make you get sunburned more easily. If you do get sunburned, stop using Atralin Gel until your skin is completely back to normal. Talk to your doctor about how to protect your skin if you must be in sunlight a lot.”

Subj: Rash on neck
Date: 6/10/2008
Hi, I have been using Retin A Gel .01% for 10 days, my skin is looking quite bad, which I expected. However, I have a rash on my neck that seems puffy and very red. I’m really worried that my doctor will tell me to stop using it, but I want it to work. Would it be better for me to use a cream rather than a gel? Is it possible by cutting down my frequency of use that the rash will subside? I just really want my skin to get better, it’s now quit uncomfortable and kind of defines my life at the moment. I don’t want to socialise and I find myself just want to get home from work so I can wash my skin and apply the next dose as I cannot wait for clearer skin. It’s causing me quite a bu of depression too now.


AskDocWeb: Remember that a rash is one of the signs of an allergic reaction. If you are having an allergic reaction then your doctor will probably tell you to discontinue it.

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