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What is Retin-A?
Retin-A is a topical cream with tretinoin being its main ingredient.
Tretinoin is a synthetic form of vitamin A that promotes skin renewal.
This drug was developed all the way back in 1969 by Albert Kligman and James Fulton. Tretinoin is a 1st generation topical retinoid that is frequently used as a treatment for acne and keratosis pilaris.
What are the indications for using Retin-A?
Just like other synthetic retinoid, Retin-A is used as a treatment for the following conditions:
Acne vulgaris – a condition characterized by areas of whiteheads, blackheads, greasy skin, and pimples, which usually affects the teens.
Keratosis pilaris – a common genetic follicular condition which is characterized by the appearance of rough, reddish bumps on the skin.
Acute promyelocytic leukemia – a cancer which affect the white blood cells.
Photoaging – characteristic changes of the skin, which happen as a result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
What is the dosage of Retin-A?
Retin-A should only be applied topically and should not be ingested. Do not use Retin-A on the skin that is chapped, dry, irritated, wind-burned, sunburned, or otherwise damaged. Using more of this medicine than prescribed will not do any good, but will increase the likelihood of side effects.
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Before using Retin-A, wash the skin where it’s going to be applied with mild soap and wait for it to dry completely. It is recommended to wait at least 20 to 30 minutes to avoid irritation.
After you apply Retin-A, don’t wash the area that was treated for at least 1 hour. Also, avoid applying any other skin product on the treated area for the same amount of time.
While you’re using Retin-A, you should protect your skin from direct sunlight, which includes using protective clothing and sunscreen.
In some cases, it takes a few weeks for any improvements to show up. Thus, keep using the medication as prescribed by the doctor, even if you don’t see any improvements at first. Additionally, your condition may become a little worse for a short period of time, as you start using this medication.
What are the contraindications for using Retin-A?
Do not use Retin-A if you have an allergy to tretinoin or any similar drugs. Women who are planning to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breast-feeding, should avoid using this medication. Moreover, while you’re using Retin-A, you should protect your skin from direct sunlight, which includes using sunglasses, protective clothing, and sunscreen.
What are the adverse effects of Retin-A?
Stop using Retin-A immediately and call your doctor if you notice severe irritation, stinging, or burning of treated skin.
Common side effects of Retin-A include the feeling of mild stinging and warmth, as well as changing of color of the treated area.