Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage, page 5

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: Retin-A and sunshine
Date: 2/7/2005
I used Retin-A micro for a period of time and wow something happened, maybe it is because I’m in the sun constantly, or whatever, but my face not only got red, I got possibly the worst sun burn in my life, it stung unbearably, was very, very puffy, flaky and to put it simply, my face hurt. Now, my dermatologist has put me on Differin, which I heard is in the same family as Retin-A, but milder, and my face is starting to get red, puffy, flaky, scaly, stinging again. Is this also because I’m in the sun? Or should I just discontinue use of any of this kind of products due to a certain ingredient? Incidentally, it seems that the itchy, scaly, peeling, bright red, puffy side effects start on both sides of my lower jaw line up to my nose, under my nose and small random spots throughout my face. Why does it start on my jaw line if I don’t seem to apply any product there? Why is my forehead fine to this product? Thanks.


AskDocWeb: Various area of your skin will react differently to this drug. Our biggest concern is your constant exposure to the sun. You are not to be in the sun at all while using Retin-A – unless you use a sunscreen! If you don’t take that warning seriously, you will cause yourself a lot of pain.

Subj: Any suggestions?
Date: 2/11/2005
I’ve been using retin-a for about 2 1/2 months now and am still getting reddness and dryness of the skin, so dry it starts to peel and get flaky and its embarassing. Do you have any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong. And also can I change to a different acne treatment (like pro-activ) without having troubles or side effects.

AskDocWeb: Not being familiar with pro-activ, I can’t comment on the possible side effects of that product. Suggest you re-read the package insert to make sure you are using it according to the directions and haven’t missed anything. You could also change to a lower dose.

Subj: Retin-A for acne and skin discoloration
Date: 2/23/2005
I have used Retin-A for acne and skin discoloration. You must ensure that you protect your skin from the sun at all times when using this medication due to the heightened sensitivity and the thinning of your skin. For the first few weeks I had to endure some intense itching, burning, dryness and redness. However, when the symptoms subside, I had beautiful results. This medication can have dramatic results for discoloration when paired with hydroquinone and other topicals prescribed by a doctor. Whenever I get a discoloration of any kind–a scar in the making, or hyperpigmentation from a blemish, I begin immediately applying the medications and the problem is gone in weeks. If you have a high tolerance for irritation, this is a great remedy.


Subj: Retin A and oily skin
Date: 2/26/2005
I have been using Retin A for about 2 years now. I was previously using it in conjunction with Minocycline but when my acne improved, my doctor had me stop the antibiotics and my condition continued to improve. Now my skin remains, for the most part, blemish free but it has become incredibly oily to the point where I look to be drenched with sweat at all times of day. My doctor suggested using a panoxyl bar to help control the oil but its beneficial effects fade an hour or so after I wash with it and the oiliness progresses throughout the day. I’ve noticed that on the rare occasions that I miss a dose of Retin A, my skin isn’t the slightest bit oily that day. Could the product be causing the oiliness, and if so can I stop using it without my acne coming back?


AskDocWeb: I haven’t heard of retin a causing oiliness but your acne will likely return if you discontinue its use. Sounds like this is enough of a concern to return to your doctor and tell him that Panoxyl isn’t working as well as you thought it should.

Subj: Retin-a and birth control
Date: 2/28/2005
Does retin-a cause birth control to be less effective?


AskDocWeb: No.

Subj: Look 20 years older
Date: 3/1/2005
I’ve just started using Retin A, .05% for wrinkles. I was prepared for the redness and peeling, but I am concerned because the skin around my eyes looks more wrinkled than ever, complete with bags! – I look 20 years older. Is this temporary, or have I been maimed for life???


AskDocWeb: Good news, you are NOT maimed for life. This is temporary and it does clear up with or without continued use.

Subj: Retin-A causing itchy arms
Date: 3/5/2005
I am a 20 year old student using retin A(0.05)for acne on the face. I have found great results on my face, but wake up every morning with itchy areas on my arm. I tend to sleep on my arm, and no matter how long I let the Retin A dry before I go to bed, my arm reacts badly. Is this very uncommon? It’s itchy, and irritated. Anything to prevent this?


AskDocWeb: Although I haven’t heard of this before, but it is possible. The simplest solution would seem to be to put something between your face and your arms before sleep, either your pillow or sheet/blanket, etc. so that your face doesn’t have contact with other skin. Or try sleeping in a long sleeve T-shirt.

Subj: 6 weeks using Retin-A and looking terrible

Date: 3/10/2005

I’ve been using retin a micro for about 6 weeks now starting on my seventh. My skin is looking terrible and it’s dry and some parts are crusty. I haven’t noticed any improvements so far and I’ve noticed some parts with blood. It is very sick and I’m really hating this medicine. What should I do? Should I discontinue use? My skin is now all red and a little bloody and flaky.. What can I apply to make this better?


AskDocWeb: If you have sensitive skin, the use of Retin-A may cause your skin to become excessively red, puffy, blistered, or crusted. If this happens, notify your doctor, who may recommend that you discontinue the medication until your skin returns to normal, or adjust the medication to a level that you can tolerate.

Subj: Benzoyl Peroxide and Retin-A Micro
Date: 3/27/2005
Can I use retin-A micro .1% at night and then Benzoyl Peroxide 10% on the acne spots in the morning without lessening the effects of the Retin-A Micro?


AskDocWeb: That would seem to be okay as long as you are separating the application of the two products by half a day. You need to know that each of these products can cause irritation and may cause some peeling. Using them at the same time is not recommended.

If this doesn’t work for your acne then it might be beneficial to ask your doctor about using a topical antibiotic. These work by reducing the number of comedones, papules and pustules. Allergic reactions from topical formulations are rare. The most popular is erythromycin gel but, clindamycin, tetracycline, and meclocycline are also available as topical preparations. Compared to systemic antibiotics, topical preparations have fewer side effects.

Subj: Retin-A dried my chin out
Date: 3/28/2005
I recently started using Retin-A and it has dried my chin out so badly that is bright red and flaky. I have stopped using Retin-A on that area and will start using it again once it gets better. What can I put on my chin during the day and at night in the meantime?


AskDocWeb: We suggest you go to a dermatologist for a recommendation specific to your skin condition. You don’t want to take any chances on scarring or discoloration of the skin.

Subj: Back acne and prom
Date: 3/28/2005
I do realize how bad tanning is for you. I never burn, I am dark complected and I have never artificially tanned before. BUT! prom is coming up soon and I have very embarrassing back acne all over me which my retin-a, duac gel, and amonocylcine pills do not seem to be helping. The only time I do not have back acne is in the summer time, because the sun seems to dry it up for me. I do wish to tan only for prom, due to my embarrassing back acne which will be exposed in my dress. Will the artificial lights of the tanning booth really hurt my skin, since I am using the above medications?


AskDocWeb: Tanning your back with acne will only make the areas more noticeable. You might consider wearing a beautiful shawl to match your dress. That can be very attractive.

Subj: Things getting worse
Date: 3/29/2005
I have been using Retin-A Micro gel on and off for about a year. When I first began treatment I noticed that my skin looked great after about a month. However, my acne never really went away so I began using benzyl peroxide on blemishes and Retin-A all over my face. I would put the Retin-A on first, and then spot treat with the benzyl. Recently I noticed that many of the pores on my face are becoming much larger than they were last year. Is this just part of aging or a possible result of mixing Retin-A with benzyl peroxide?

I’ve had acne since I was 13 (14 years now!) and nothing has worked to get rid of it! I’m so frustrated that I still have the acne and now much larger pores as well (which makes my acne even worse). I’m beginning to wonder if I should just stop using all products because I see things only getting worse.


AskDocWeb: That may your best course of action. We suggest you talk with a dermatologist and seek his recommendations before continuing anything.

Subj: Using Retin-a under eyes
Date: 3/29/2005
I’ve been using retin-a under my eyes with no problem after I figured out how to do it. I use a very small amount. At first my skin dried out, and was red and puffy and actually looked 10 years older. But after 3 weeks of using every 3rd day then going to every other day. Now I use 5 days a week.


Subj: Eucerin’s Q10
Date: 3/30/2005
I use Retin A every night. In the morning I use Aqua Glycolic before moisturizing. Is it okay to use Eucerin’s Q10 anti-wrinkle cream after glycolic acid? Rosac is used nightly on my rosacea. Thank you,


AskDocWeb: No, it will reduce the benefits of the glycolic acid.

Subj: Break-outs on forehead
Date: 4/1/2005
I have a question. I’ve been using Retin-A for almost two years. It worked well for me, but in the last month I started getting break-outs on my forehead that won’t go away. I stopped using the ointment and now I’m breaking out all over my face. Should I use Retin A again? And it is ok to use it for such a long time? Will there be any negative affects on my skin years later?


AskDocWeb: Although many women have used Retin-A for years with no problems, scarring could be a concern. We suggest you make an appointment with your dermatologist for the best advice and treatment for your situation.

Subj: Sensitive chin skin
Date: 4/10/2005
I used Retin A about 10 years ago for acne. I quit using after a few months because of dry flaky skin especially on my chin. For years my chin gets very red especially after sun exposure. Could this be caused form retin A 10 years ago and if so is there a way to get rid of it?


AskDocWeb It would seem that area of your face is extremely sensitive. You could try sunblock on your chin, although not a low one, try 50.

Subj: Great product
Date: 4/12/2005
Well I have been using Retino A for almost 10 yrs now. It has improved my skin texture a lot. It is a great product.


Subj: Pregnant
Date: 4/13/2005
I have been using retin a topical creme.025% -.05% When I found out I was pregnant I stopped using it. Should I be worried about anything? My OBGYN said the risk was very minimal because I have now stopped using it altogether. Please help, I’m worried!


AskDocWeb Your OB/GYN is right, the risk is small enough that you have no reason to worry.

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