Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage, page 48

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: Exfoliate?
Date: 2/8/2009
Should I use an exfoliator to take away the peeling skin? My spots have become much worse after 2 weeks of use when will they start to improve? Is the pill a better alterative than Retin A?


AskDocWeb: Using other products to exfoliate the skin is not recommended while using Retin-A. More than 6 or 7 weeks of treatment may be needed before you see consistent beneficial effects. If by “the pill” you are referring to the birth control pill, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, that helps with less severe cases of acne where Retin-A is used to treat the more severe cases.

Subj: Pimples
Date: 2/9/2009
Hety it’s my second week using retin a micro and I was just wondering I seem to be breaking out more all over my face with small tiney pimples is it because of retin a or no? Is it supposed to get worse by second week and then get better?


AskDocWeb: Yes, the patient information says that 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.

Subj: Very bad acne
Date: 2/12/2009
I’m an adult 41 year old African American woman, who continues to experience acne, especially after back to back childbirth. I had very bad acne while pregnant and I am left with moderate dark scars and the acne continues. After seeing a dermatologist on Monday, I was prescribed the following. Vaniqua to decrease the hairs along the chin line. Aczone Gel (dapsone) Gel .05% Altralin (tretinoin) Gel .05% I am now washing my face with Cetaphil as well as using the moisturizer with SPF15. My question is, when do I use what. I’ve come to understand that after washing AM or PM, I should wait at least 20 – 30 minutes before the next application. Is that the application of moisturize or the said prescribed med. And if I have to use two prescribed meds what the best method to get the best results.


AskDocWeb: It sounds like your dermatologist failed to give you your money’s worth. When using so many products there should be specific directions for their use. You might want to ask your dermatologist for written instructions so that you know exactly what to do and to avoid confusion.

Subj: More acne?
Date: 2/15/2009
Hey I have been using retin-a .01% for over almost 3 weeks, but I get more acne, and in more places of my face, its normal, and after 4-5 weeks I will begin to improve alot much???


AskDocWeb: That sounds like the typical response that many people report. The directions do warn that you condition may get worse before it gets better. It may take 6 or 7 weeks of treatment may be needed before consistent beneficial effects appear.

Subj: Hoping I am not scared
Date: 2/15/2009
I have a cream that’s generic for retonA and it is to be applied to my face at bedtime and in a pea sized amount. Well I put it on for a while around 3-4 weeks and it seems as if my face is burned and the pealing in abolutely incrediable. I told the Dr I work so did she think I could just take off? My face looks pathetic and I am hoping I am not scared.


AskDocWeb: This sounds like another case of the skin condition getting worse before it gets better. The chances of being scared from this are very low.

Subj: Burns when I use Clearisil
Date: 2/18/2009
I used retin-a for a while sometime last year and stopped using due to laziness. I got fed up of my acne and saw the doctor again. I was prescribed with retin-a and some antibiotics. Near my mouth, I seem to have irritated skin, and it burns when I use Clearisil on it. Is this due to the retin-a by any chance?


AskDocWeb: That is most likely as Retin-A makes the skin more sensitive to sun, wind, and chemicals.

Subj: Hair thinning and best antibiotic for acne
Date: 2/19/2009
Since using retin a and tetraysl 300 for my scarring acne pustules, I’ve noticed that my hair has gone increasingly thin. What could this be due down to? The retin a or the tetraysl antibiotics? Also, what acne fighting anti-biotic has the highest success rate? Please help…


AskDocWeb: Hair loss is not listed as a side effect of Retin-A. I don’t think there is a best antibiotic for everyone and even if a particular antibiotic works well once, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work well again. If you use the same antibiotic more than once, there is the possibility of developing strains of bacteria that will be immune to that antibiotic in the future. What may be best for you can change over time. The three antibiotics currently being used to clear up acne are Tetracycline, Minocycline, and Erythromycin.

Tetracycline is at or near the top of the list of antibiotics for treating acne. It needs to be taken on an empty stomach but it is not prescribed for pregnant women or children under 9 years of age.

Minocycline is a tetracycline derivative that is useful for the pustular type of acne. It is very effective and used by many people but it has many side effects. Some of them include nausea, vomiting and skin pigmentation changes.

Erythromycin is a widely used antibiotic for acne. It helps reduce redness in lesions. Unlike Tetracycline, Erythromycin needs to be taken with food.

Subj: Will stronger work faster on wrinkles?
Date: 2/19/2009
I like Retin-A and have been using it for about a year or so, to combat wrinkles. Have been using the .05% cream. I want even better results. Is the 1% cream just for acne? Or could I move on to that strength? Will it work faster on wrinkles? Or doesn’t it matter?


AskDocWeb: The strength does matter in that the stronger it is the higher the chances are of having side effects. You could talk to your dermatologist to find out if a stronger solution would work for you but more is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to medication, they sometimes call that an overdose.

Subj: Do men use retin-a?
Date: 2/21/2009
Do men use retin-a? Can it be used on crows feet and under eyes?….


AskDocWeb: Yes, men do use Retin-A. 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, crusting, and severe irritation.

Subj: Very dry itchy skin
Date: 2/22/2009
I used retin a cream for 2 weeks and my skin got so very very dry and very itchy. I decided to stop it because I can’t stand the discomforts. Now it’s been almost 2 weeks since I stop it and my face is still so itchy and red and got some rashes, will this go away or is this a normal reaction after 2 weeks use of reti a cream, any advice pls.


AskDocWeb: The instructions do say that skin condition may get worse before it gets better and it sounds like you stopped halfway through that process. There are no reports of permanent damage from using Retin-A so the rash should go away in time.

Subj: Craters on skin
Date: 2/23/2009
My aunt and husband have used retin-A before, and they both have craters on their skin now. My aunt thinks it was due to usage of Retin-A, can it be a possible side-effect, as I’m worried because my dermatologist just prescribed it to me recently.


AskDocWeb: A bad case of acne may result in craters on the skin. It is easy to unjustly blame the medication used to treat the acne, especially if the medication is discontinued before treatment is complete.

Subj: Retin-A on the neck?
Date: 2/25/2009
IS it recommended to use RetinA on the neck area?


AskDocWeb: We have not seen anyone recommend using Retin-A on the neck area.

Subj: Used Retin-A since 1978
Date: 3/1/2009
I have used retin-A on a regular basis since 1978. I am 48 now and still nearly wrinkle free. Recently a doctor noted on a medical report that I appear much younger than my stated age. I avoid the sun when using retin-A. Sun exposure causes red spots to appear on my face. After putting the retin-a cream on, I always follow up with a very small amount of vaseline to moisturize. Side effects of long term use of retin-A is a more youthful appearance.


Subj: When should acne clear up?
Date: 3/5/2009
I have been using clindamycin topical 1% with retin A .1% and I had a little flaking at first but I was also on an antibiotic for acne and tri-sprintec all for acne now this to me seems like alot. So I decided to stop the antibiotic but kept up the retinA and clindamycin and I have little blemishes that pop up but are gone with in two days. I was having symptoms from the oral antibiotic should I stay with the retin A and when should I see my acne clearing up? It’s been 4 weeks.


AskDocWeb: The directions say that more than 6 or 7 weeks of treatment may be needed before consistent beneficial effects appear.

Subj: Just started Retin A
Date: 3/5/2009
I just started Retin A and it is great…can you use it when you are pregnant? Also is it ok to apply it every night? And how close to the eyes can u apply it?


AskDocWeb: You should be prepared for the possibility that during the early weeks of use, a worsening of the condition may occur due to the action of Retin-A on deep, previously unseen areas of inflammation. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, do not use Retin A.

Subj: Miracle product
Date: 3/10/2009
My daughter of 16 had bad spots and we tried several products and tablets for 2 years before a friend suggested Retin a gel and the yasmin contraceptive pill. She has sensitive skin, and the first few weeks her skin was red and flaky, but the spots went very quickly. She still uses the gel and the pill, a year on, and is very pleased with the results. She gets the odd spot like most teenagers, but in our opinion the retin a gel is a miracle product. She still has slightly dry skin, and sometimes get red, but it’s a small price to pay for no spots.


Subj: Dark skin around my mouth
Date: 3/10/2009
Hi, I’ve been using retin-a gel for 1 week. I only use it around my mouth area as it is very dark and pigmented. will retin-a clear out the dark skin around my mouth?


AskDocWeb: An unusual darkening of the skin may occur with repeated application of Retin-A but it is only temporary.

Subj: Wow! Success story
Date: 3/11/2009
I’m a 32 year old woman, and have had on/off problems with my skin since my teens. Mixture of too dry or too oily. It wasn’t bad enough to seek a dermatologist, but enough just to make my skin look “rough” under make-up, or give me the chicken-pox look sometimes without makeup. Embarrassing! Anyway, I have been on retin-A cream for about 8 weeks now – and WOW!!! My skin has never been so healthy, I really can’t believe what it’s doing. But I wanted to offer my experience and problems to this point – to maybe help someone who has the same problems. I searched the internet for ways to use moisturizer with retin-a.

First – do not stop retin-a when it get worse the first few weeks. Your skin will look rough, old, reddened, severely dry sometimes, and might even burn some days. But KEEP USING IT, just slow down or skip a day or two.

Second, USE MOISTURIZER. I’ve never been able to use moisturizer, but now that I have to it’s making a huge difference. I use the generic Oil of Olay Complete – the one for sensitive skin with SPF protection. It’s the only one that doesn’t burn, or leave my skin oily.

Third, if you’re skin’s not too bad and you’re using it also for wrinkles/skin resurfacing – try the .025%. I tried the .05% and it was so harsh, I was in pain most of the day and the skin was like sandpaper. Since I switched to .025%, I can put it on nightly, and plenty of it, without all the side effects.

Fourth, if you’re skin gets excessively dry and burning- on the day you take a break from retin-a, use oatmeal soap instead of face wash. It works wonders. Also, don’t be discouraged when pimples you already have don’t go away. It took some of mine almost 2 weeks to heal – I guess because the skin is turning over so fast it has trouble healing. I don’t know the reason. Just don’t be discouraged. I’m excited that I may have nice skin after all this, and I hope someone else gets the same chance!

My routine – I take a shower in the AM and use neutrogena bar soap – immediately after I get out put the Oil of Olay on, for the day. In the evening, I wash my face in the sink with the neutrogena – after 30 minutes I put on the retin-a. Before I go to bed, I put the Oil of Olay ALL OVER MY FACE, over the retin-a. Good luck!!


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