Feedback on Retin-A Side Effects and Usage, page 9

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: Acne help
Date: 8/11/2005
I have started using Retin A in combination with Minocycline HCL pills a week ago, it was prescribed to me by a dermatologist. Since then I have noticed an exacerbation of acne which makes it even worst. I was wandering if it was due to Retin A?


AskDocWeb: Probably, but these symptoms will improve within a couple weeks. Retin-A works in stages. Be patient.

Subj: Long-term use of Retin-A
I began using Retin-A in 1986 after the birth of my first daughter. I get really good results with it. However, when I try to D/C it, my face breaks out again. Any long-term side effects from using it for years???? Thank you for your help.


AskDocWeb: All the long-term users we have heard from who use a moisturizer with it (a half hour before application) had no side effects and were pleased with the results.

Subj: Skin care advice
I have been using retin-A gel .025% on my face for about 7 years. Is it safe to be using this product for so long? My skin looks great. I’m 32 years old and everyone thinks I’m 21. Also, now I have the retin-A cream in .025% instead of the gel. Is there a difference between the cream and gel? Do you suggest I switch back to the gel?


AskDocWeb: Several women have reported using Retin-A for well over 10 years with good results. We found no difference between the effectiveness of the gel and the cream, use whichever one you want to.

Subj: Does Retin-A thin skin?
I’ve been using Retin A for about a year now. I love it! I saw an Esthetician and she “explained” to me that over a long period of time, it would actually thin out your skin. I’m not sure where she got this info. Is there any truth to that?


AskDocWeb: Well, she gave you a simplistic answer. What happens is that over time, Retin-A thins the top few layers of skin and thickens the inner layers of skin. As the inner layers swell outward, the outer layers are slightly stretched which reduces wrinkles.

Subj: Retin-A
Date: 9/7/2005
Hi, I am four months pregnant and do not get much acne but now in my pregnancy I seem to be getting. I just used Retin a for the last two days for couple of acne spots I had and stop. I read today that it is not safe to use it during pregnancy. Would it effect the baby if I have used it even for two days. Also I just checked and the tube had past expiration date.


AskDocWeb: Since it was past the expiration date it would seem to be less chance of a problem but there is no way to guess how much. Talking to your doctor may ease your concern.

Subj: Skin care
Date: 9/8/2005
Used retin a cream and blender together for 1 and a half years. Skin was so perfect then it turned too total oil and all lumpy under skin. What was cause when I changed nothing?


AskDocWeb: To find out, you need to talk to a dermatologist.

Subj: Retin A headache?
Date: 9/21/2005
I have just started using Retin A 3 days ago and I have now developed a headache which has persisted for the past 2 days. I have used Ibuprofen Plus but the headache still persists. Could this be as a result of the Retin A?


AskDocWeb: Headaches are not a listed side effect of Retin-A.

Subj: Skin care advice
Date: 9/23/2005
I have been using Retin-A for 4 weeks now and my condition has considerably worsened. I’ve followed the directions religiously. I have extremely oily skin and have to use a salicylic acid based astringent to get my face completely clean. I also use Neutrogena’s face wash for oily, acne-prone skin. I understand the effects of using certain products with Retin-A, but I haven’t found anything that will get my skin clean and oil free unless it’s alcohol based. My skin has only peeled a little, but the acne has tripled. I’m 34 years old and am wondering if hormonal changes could be the culprit instead. Could you recommend a better course of action? Thanks.


AskDocWeb: Have you changed birth control recently? Yes, changes in hormone levels could account for this. The directions for Retin-A say to avoid using an astringent based on salicylic acid. That could cause your skin irritation and you might be adding another problem.

Subj: What moisturizer?
Date: 9/29/2005
Hi, I just started using retin-a every night again. During the day what type of SPF Moisturizer is recommended for those of us who use retin-a? And is using Estee Lauder’s Perfectionist under the moisturizer recommended or am I using too much product? Thank you for your help.


AskDocWeb: I don’t know what’s in the Estee lauder’s cream to be able to give you a good answer to this. If it has any of the same ingredients as Retin-a it could be too much for your skin to handle.

According to the feedback, problems are usually caused by using too much or not allowing enough time between applying the moisturizer and the Retin-A.

Subj: Retin A and hair loss
Date: 10/6/2005
Has anyone experienced hair loss while using Retin A?


AskDocWeb: While some people may have hair loss while using Retin A, there is no known connection.

Subj: Retin A side effects
Date: 10/9/2005
Hi my name is Manuel. I just started using retin A a week ago. I have noticed that my skin is starting to peel and look shinny (is it oil?). I use it at night and then put on an anti biotic lotion called clym something. I also am taking antibiotics twice a day. Do the side affects (peeling) last long? And does the plan my dermatologist gave me work?


AskDocWeb: Retin-A works in phases, actually three phases. Each phase lasts a short time, but no more than a couple of weeks. If you notice redness that won’t go away, burning sensation or swelling call your dermatologist. Overall your plan sounds good.

Subj: Products to use with Retin-A?
Date: 10/13/2004
I don’t know if you are allowed to use brand names on this site but I’m very interested in cleansers, moisturizers, and SPF’s that people have found work well with Retin-A. Thanks.


AskDocWeb: Use the highest SPF that you can find. And yes, you can mention brand names here. We know the Loreal moisturizer works well. Does anyone else have suggestions?

Subj: Expired medication
Date: 10/15/2004
I had a prescription filled a few months ago for a couple of tubes of Retin-A Micro .04% and one of them reached the expiration date this summer. Is it still okay to use this tube? Will the medicine still be effective? The pharmacy will not take it back and exchange for a newer tube.


AskDocWeb: This points out why it is a good idea to check your medication at the time of purchase, to catch such things. Sorry but no, you cannot safely use any expired medication.

Subj: Retin a side effects
Date: 10/21/2004
I have been using retin-a for about 2 weeks now and have noticed some improvements. At first my skin began to peel but this was only a few times. I started to notice that some stubborn black heads that had been stuck under my skin for months were beginning to reach the surface. A few days after the black heads, on there own came to the surface. I washed them off and now all seem to have are scars from large pimples that had kept growing in the same spot many times, which caused some scarring. The scars are however also slowly starting fade away. The only thing I don’t like about retin-a is that my face has turned more raw looking. It’s also very much greasy and shiny. Maybe this is just a temporary thing?

AskDocWeb: It sounds like the Retin-A has been doing what it is supposed to do. If your skin is looking raw, the strength of Retin-A may be too strong for you or you could be applying too much. Ask your physician about the dosage. The use of strong astringents on your face right now is not recommended. Read the pamphlet that came with Retin-A to make sure you are aware of all of the side effects of this product.

Subj: Breastfeeding
Date: 10/26/2004
Can you please tell me what effects retin a cream has on your child while breastfeeding. Thankyou,


AskDocWeb: Retin-A is in the FDA’s category “C” which means some evidence of a chance of harm has been discovered. However, that chance is considered small enough to justify taking it if it’s essential to your health. The drug company did not publish what form that harm might be.

Subj: Side effects of Retin A
Date: 11/7/2005
I am writing to investigate the side effects of Retin A products. I have heard that they can cause hallucinations in some people. A staff of mine had her son on a retin a product. He was hallucinating and then she saw 60 Minutes that assisted her in taking her son off the product. Help me. I have a DD Client that may be going through the same thing.


AskDocWeb: Sorry, we found no reference to indicate that this product could cause hallucinations.

Subj: Retin- a tolerance?
Date: 11/16/2005
I’ve been using retin- a for 4 months and I was wondering whether I should still put it on every night or do it every other night now, so my skin won’t get used to it and stop working? Thank you,


AskDocWeb: Many women continue to use it every night and have used it for years although some have reported taking periodic breaks from use.

Subj: Retin A and the liver
Date: 11/20/2005
Can you damage your liver from long term use of Retin A?


AskDocWeb: No, not unless you use 4 times the recommended dosage.

Subj: Bought too much
Date: 11/23/2005I am having a good experience with Retin A (0.05 cream). I did not get the really bad stage in the beginning… I think it might be b/c I used Alpha Hydroxy AHA for a month before using the Retin A… maybe it prepared my skin. Now I only used the AHA 3 times a week, never the same day that I use the Retin A.

I do have a problem though. If anyone can offer advise that would be great. I have a tube of 40 gram Retin A, for about a month. I liked it so much that I purchased 4 20 gram tubes from my source in Australia (I live in the U.S.). The problem is, the 4 20 gram tubes have an expiration date of 08-2006 (today is 11-22-05) and the one I am using now has an expiration date of 06-2007. I am sure everyone knows how long Retin A takes too use up, b/c so little amount is used per application. Anyway, should I open a new one and use them up before they expire…? Or just keep using the one that is already opened? What will happen to the Retina A after it expires… is it still good? Thanks!


AskDocWeb: You can certainly use a new tube now but it sounds like you are going to have some wasted product whatever you do.

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