When Retin-A is mentioned, does a zit faced teenager come to mind? Are you combating middle aged acne and reaping the haunting benefits of basking in the sun as a teenager?
This derivative of vitamin A actually does many things. The topical version known as Tretinoin treats mild to moderate forms of acne as well as skin damage from the sun. After talking with my dermatologist, I decided that I would definitely benefit from this treatment!
So, what exactly can be gained from the use of Tretinoin?
Acne: Retin A clears out the comedone (black heads) plugs. It works by bringing them up to the surface to be washed away. Who doesn’t get giddy over that!
Hyper-pigmentation: Helps with discoloration from age spots, freckles. When you are a teenager freckles are cute, not so much at forty!
Skin Texture: Texture improves with an increase in cell turn over and new collagen. It gets rid of all the dull dead skin cells.
Sometimes as we age, we need a little help to promote cell turn over. Tretinoin promotes this by irritating the skin, which leads to sloughing and promoting cell division. This rapid turnover of old to new cells prevents pimples and promotes prettier softened skin. And this wonderful mechanism of cell turn over decreases wrinkles, refines skin texture, and fades age spots. That makes me want to do a cartwheel! When you are fast approaching middle age, it’s easy to get excited about a tube of goo that does all that!
As I mentioned, this medication irritates the skin. Wow, when I say irritate. Boy does it! This tube of youth is potent! The reaction is often equivalent to a bad sunburn.
After being overzealous with the application, my skin felt as if someone had doused my face with super hot water!
After a call to the doctor, I dropped from using the cream twice a week to once a week. I also mix it with my moisturizer to further lessen the irritation. As the skin adapts, I can increase the use back to twice a week. Since this medication causes rapid cell turnover, it is important to religiously use a sunscreen.
Tretinoin should be used after gently cleansing your face with a mild non alcohol containing wash. I usually wait at least thirty minutes before applying to prevent any increase in irritation. If irritation continues, it may be beneficial to decrease to the minimum dosage. It also comes in two strengths to help prevent discomfort.
Tretinoin is a prescription cream that should only be used under medical supervision to prevent skin damage or allergic reaction. More importantly, Retin A should be avoided by anyone who may be pregnant.
If you have used Retin A, I would love know how it worked for you.