Does Tretinoin Work for Acne?
The acne drug Retin-A is a generic version of topical tretinoin. In the United States, topical tretinoin is only available with a prescription. Adapalene is the only retinoid drug available over the counter (Differin).
In most circumstances, topical tretinoin is utilised to treat active breakouts as both a short-term and long-term therapeutic option. It is used to treat difficult-to-remove acne blemishes.
Tretinoin is effective for many people, however, it is not effective for everyone. Continue reading to find out more about tretinoin and what you should be aware of before using it to treat acne.
The advantages of using tretinoin to treat acne
Tretinoin is a retinoid, which means it is derived from vitamin A. Retinoids promote cell turnover in your skin. Dead skin cells are cleared away more quickly as fresh skin cells rise to the surface.
Faster cell turnover helps to unclog your pores, allowing germs and irritants that cause acne to leave.
Retinoids, such as tretinoin, can enhance your skin’s natural oil production (sebum), which might help you avoid future breakouts. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which aid in the removal of violent acne pustules.
Tretinoin is used to treat wrinkles.
Tretinoin’s influence on the visible signs of ageing has been extensively studied.
Tretinoin cream has been demonstrated to minimise wrinkle appearance in the short and long term. As a result, tretinoin is widely used in over-the-counter face and eye products.
Tretinoin is used to treat acne scars.
Tretinoin can also be used to minimise the look of acne scars. Tretinoin, by increasing cell turnover on your skin, can encourage new cell formation at the location of scarring.
Tretinoin has been shown to be an effective treatment for many types of acne scars. Tretinoin is also sometimes used to prepare the skin for chemical peels for scar removal.
Tretinoin side effects
Tretinoin can have negative side effects when used to treat acne. Some side effects may be more severe than others, and not everyone will experience all of them. The following are some instances of potential undesirable consequences:
skin that is hot or irritating skin that is unusually dry skin that feels warm to the touch skin that turns a lighter colour at the application place peeling or redness on your skin
Tretinoin’s effects can take up to 12 weeks to manifest. If using it causes your skin to become inflamed, visit a doctor to see if your symptoms are within the normal range for over-the-counter tretinoin.
Tretinoin should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
When using tretinoin, you should avoid sun exposure at all costs. Tretinoin, like all retinoids, thins the skin and makes it more susceptible to UV damage and sunburn.
When going outside, use sunscreen and consider taking extra measures, such as wearing a hat with a brim.
If you suspect an allergic reaction to tretinoin or are experiencing serious side effects, discontinue use immediately and seek medical attention.
Interactions between medications
Other topical acne medications may interact with tretinoin, causing irritation or worsening side effects including skin burning.
Other topical skin treatments (such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, as well as sulfur-containing products) should be avoided while using tretinoin unless it is part of a treatment plan established with your doctor.
Also, avoid products that dry up your skin, such as astringents and cleansers containing alcohol.
How should tretinoin be used to treat acne?
Start with a cream or gel that has a modest amount of the active ingredient tretinoin if you want to use it to treat acne (0.025 percent). You can progressively increase the amount utilised as your skin becomes accustomed to the therapy.
Follow these procedures to use tretinoin safely and effectively:
Wash your face with warm water and blot it dry before using any topical acne medication. Wash your hands before applying any cream or lotion to your face. Wait a few minutes before applying the medication to ensure that your skin is completely dry.
To softly cover the affected area, apply a small amount of the drug. You do not need to apply the medication to your face in a thick layer. A dime-sized amount of the medication should be enough to cover your entire face.
With the tips of your fingers, spread the medication away from sensitive areas such as your eyes, nostrils, and mouth. Allow the cream or gel to sink entirely after lightly massaging it into your skin.
Apply tretinoin once at bedtime for best results, enabling it to completely penetrate your skin while you sleep. It’s best to avoid wearing makeup for the first few hours after this treatment.
If your skin doesn’t improve after 8 to 12 weeks, talk to your doctor about prescription-strength tretinoin or other treatment options.
Tretinoin is a highly effective long-term acne treatment. While it may not work for everyone, studies show that by promoting cell turnover, it can help to level out skin tone, cure breakouts, and lessen the appearance of acne scarring.
Tretinoin may aggravate acne in the first few weeks of treatment, but you should see benefits after a few weeks.