Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage, page 42

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: Discoloration, red spots, and enlarged pores
Date: 7/18/2008
Hi, I used Retin A and Obagi for nine days and had a reaction discoloration and red spots and enlarged pores. Will it go away? I stopped using the cream it has been 3 weeks with little improvement.


AskDocWeb: Let’s use this as a reminder not to mix this prescription medication with other products unless you first checking with your doctor. We haven’t heard of any permanent damage being caused by mixing Retin-A with Obagi products but you would have to consult with a dermatologist to be sure.

Subj: Prescription Retin A
Date: 7/21/2008
I have suffered from acne ever since I was 12 ;(. I am 25 years old now and I still break out terribly. Last year I went to the dermatologist and she gave me ziana which cleared my face entirely however, I was only happy for a couple of months because after that, I broke up terribly again. I went back to the dermatologist and she gave me retin a 0.025%. I have been using it for almost 4 weeks. I am kind of sad though because my cheeks and my chin look almost clear now except for a pimple I picked in my left cheek. But the little tiny pimple in my forhead for some reason don’t show no improvement at all. My mom got a prescription for retin a 1%. I was wondering if I could use her prescription in my forhead. Would this be a good idea?


AskDocWeb: No, using anyone else’s prescription is not a good idea and in many places is against the law. Such laws are for your protection. What may be appropriate for one patient could cause harm to someone else.

Subj: Light brown discolor
Date: 7/21/2008
I have used Retin-a for well over 5 year’s. I love how it soften’s the deep wrinkles I get on my forehead and nose & mouth area, it make my skin look great. The problem I have sadly encountered is that when I use the product I get a very light brown discolor from the vaginal area, when I quit using it, the problem goes away in one day. Hoping that it was not the product I quit putting it on my face for several day’s and then returned to using it but each time I do this the problem return’s that evening. Is this a common side effect?


AskDocWeb: No, Retin-A can only affect the skin color on those areas where it is applied and has no affect on your period.

Subj: Applying Retin A
Date: 7/23/2008
As I read your answers above, you said that applying Retin A at least half hour for your skin to dry after washing your face. Then, have to wait again at least half hour for the Retin A to get dry in order to apply the moisturizer. So the total time is 1 HOUR? Can I mix the moisturizer with Retin A, and apply them at the same time?


AskDocWeb: That is not recommended. Mixing a moisturizer with this prescription drug will dilute the drug and reduce the effectiveness.

Subj: Laser burn scars
Date: 7/24/2008
I was told to use retin-a after having an extreme cosmetic lazer burn which left me scarred. My skin is purple-ish in many places from the thinness of the skin. I am curious how the product can repair damage and speed healing yet also thin the skin. I am concerned about even more damage. What are your thoughts?


AskDocWeb: As we understand it, Retin-A thins only the top few layers of skin and thickens the inner layers of skin. Over time, as the inner layers of skin swell outward, the outer layers are slightly stretched which reduces wrinkles and the visibility of scars.

Subj: Swollen eyes
Date: 7/25/2008
I’ve been using retin-a micro once daily (night) for 3 days now. My skin started to get a little irritated (which is normal, right?), but this morning I woke up with swollen eyes. The swelling isn’t very severe, but my left eye is more swollen than the right. Could this be because of the retin-a?


AskDocWeb: Yes, that could be a result of applying the Retin-A too close to your eyes which is one reason that it is not recommended for use around the eyes.

Subj: Retin A hair loss
Date: 7/26/2008
Does retin A get absorbed in the skin? I have been experiencing hair loss on my head and nothing seems to be wrong. I had my thyroid checked. It started about a month after using retin a micro.


AskDocWeb: In order for Retin-A to work properly it has to be absorbed into the skin. Hair loss is not listed as a side effect of Retin-A.

Subj: Old acne scars on back
Date: 7/27/2008
I have been prescribed Retina A micro for my facial acne/acne scars…Will Retina A micro be effective on old acne scars on my back?


AskDocWeb: That would be an off-label use as it is prescribed to treat acne on facial skin. We have no data on what happens when it is used on other areas of the body.

Subj: Cholesterol level
Date: 7/28/2008
Hello I wrote a couple weeks ago and wanted to talk about Retin A and I haven’t heard anything back regarding your new chat room. Also what really is the best cholesteral that a women should have? I am 179 but the new guidelines even say that is too high. What is it suppose to be really. Thank you,


AskDocWeb: Be sure to make a distinction between LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. According to the most recent guidelines of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), a desirable total cholesterol level is one that is below 200. Total cholesterol levels between 200 and 239 are considered borderline high, and levels above 240 are considered high. LDL cholesterol level numbers are different as you can see below.

  • Less than 100 mg/dL is optimal
  • 100-129 mg/dL near optimal/above optimal
  • 130-159 mg/dL borderline high
  • 160-189 mg/dL is high
  • 190 mg/dL and above is very high

Your doctor will advise you about the appropriate cholesterol level for your particular situation and cholesterol medications. Based on your overall risk for heart disease, your cholesterol should be checked every 1 to 5 years.

Subj: Retina-a to help prevent aging
Date: 7/29/2008
I am 20, and saw my g.p. to ask about skincare. We got to discussing retina-a for cosmetic reasons (to help prevent aging in future). She prescribed the strength 0.05% for me. I have been using it for 21days so far. I was advised to use it every third night for a week, then every second night for a couple weeks then nightly. I still cannot do it nightly. I feel my skins sensitivity, and I see flakiness in certain areas. Does it take time to get used to? is 0.05 really THAT strong?


AskDocWeb: Yes it is and it does take awhile for your skin to become adjusted to it.

Subj: How long does it take?
Date: 7/31/2008
I just started using retin-1 for my acne… How long do you think it will take to clear it up?


AskDocWeb: This will likely make you break out a little more for awhile, but then after a few weeks it clears up and gets rid of the acne.

Subj: Retin-A
Date: 8/2/2008
I have been using Retin-A .05% cream for almost three weeks now. Shortly after using the cream, I noticed severe bladder irritation (as I had read early someone else had the same issue). I was tested for a UTI, but the test came back without infection. I have a ultrasound scheduled to make sure that there is nothing else wrong, i.e. an ovarian cyst again (I had similar symptoms before and had a fluid filled cyst removed from my ovary last year). The strange thing is that the problem occurred when I shortly had started the medication. I just had thought it was interesting that someone else had had the same issue, but this side effect is not listed on the drug info pamphlet. Well, I imagine that I will know early this week if I am suffering from a cyst or something of the like. But if not, the Retin-A thing might be something to look into. (By the way, the product gives immediate results…and I am not suffering from any flaking or facial irritation as of yet.)


Subj: Has the retin-a changed my skin?
Date: 8/3/2008
I have always had good skin but like most thirty somethings I became aware of fine lines appearing. After a lot of research I decided to try retin-a. I used it most days for a period of one year. My skin did benefit from it whilst I was using it, it was smooth and my pigmentation was reduced. However I stopped using it a couple of months ago and my skin has never been as oily, blemished and spotty. Has the retin-a changed my skin???


Subj: Retin-A around the eyes
Date: 8/4/2008
I began using Retin-a (Ketrel 0.05 – that is the French version and by the way it costs 3 euros a tube in France) about 2 years ago. The first few times I used it (applying for 20min-2hours a go) my skin becaming wildly dry! I remember putting it on for 2 hours and over the next week it was so dry – creased under my eyes where I had applied it – red and flaking! Anyway I stopped using it then started back up 8 months ago (January 2008) – I brought back about 40 tubes with me from Paris – anyway the trick is this: the first time you apply it should be for 10 minutes max – check the next day and see how the skin reacts, even if it reacts well, increase in 10 minute increments – evening 1 (10 minutes) evening 2 (20 minutes) etc. As soon as you experience severe reactions (drying etc) back off for 1-3 days depending…then pick up where you left off. You need to give your skin as much time as it wants to adjust to this stuff.

As far as the eyes go: I put it around my eyes, on my lids, undereye and crow’s feet area). If you look at any cream the manufacturer will always tell you NOT to put it around your eye – on the one hand because the tissue around the eye is thin and a substance could get in the eye socket through the skin – but also in an effort to cover themselves from a lawsuit etc in case you get it in your eye and it irritates your eye. Could retinoids have an adverse effect on the eye? We know that retin-a penetrates the lipid barrier in cells – and that is why it works and over the counter (water based) creams don’t.


AskDocWeb: It sounds like you have generalized something that may be true for some creams but is not true for all creams. Since the recommendation is to avoid using Retin-A around the eyes there is no research into the affects of using it on your eyelids. What you are doing sounds dangerous and we suggest you talk to your doctor before proceeding. Hopefully it will not cost you your eyesight but you can’t say that you weren’t warned.

Subj: Highly beneficial to skin
Date: 8/6/2008
I have used Retin-A periodically for over ten years. I requested it from my doctor to clear the occasional swollen bumps that might appear on my face. It proved very successful and I did not experience any unpleasant side effects. In fact, it has been highly beneficial to my skin condition and I continue to use it.


Subj: Problem with the sun?
Date: 8/11/2008
I was on retin-a-micro .04 gel for about 3 months and it gave me acne on my forhead that I never had before so I got off of it even though it cleared up my chin. After that I started to break out and went back on the .04 gel again. Well my face is peeling, but thats what happens to everyone. My main question is… can the sun cause little tiny spider veins to pop out? Cause I have about 4 little sploches of them all over my face now, really small but for me its a huge and depressing deal. I also used duac for the acne on my forhead(which I never had before the past few days with the retin a micro) I just dont know what to do! Im not sure what caused these red little vein sploches.


AskDocWeb: Yes, chronic exposure to the sun can cause spider veins and Retin-A is known to make the skin more sensitive to the effects of sunlight. It may be time to invest in a few hats.

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