Tretinoin 101: What Tretinoin is, How it Works, Side Effects and More

What is Tretinoin?

A potent prescription retinoid drug called tretinoin is used to treat acne and aging skin symptoms including fine lines and wrinkles. Although using tretinoin every night is generally safe, you might not want to due to the first adverse effects, especially when you first start. To prevent major skin irritation, redness, and other side effects, you should only use tretinoin as directed by your doctor.Applying moisturizer immediately before and after using tretinoin is one strategy to reduce side effects.

The most popular brands of tretinoin in the world are Retin-A®, Tretin-X®, Refissa®, Renova®, and Avita®. Tretinoin is an ingredient in many medicines sold internationally, including Stieva-A® cream.

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What tretinoin products I currently use

Tretinoin is available in a variety of dose formulations. It’s most frequently sold as a cream, but it’s also available as a jelly, a gel, and a liquid solution.

Tretinoin is a first-generation retinoid that shares chemical similarities with vitamin A. Tretinoin (and other retinoids) can delay the appearance of acne and a number of common aging-related cosmetic symptoms by altering how skin cells mature.

How Tretinoin Works?

One intriguing aspect of tretinoin is that scientists aren’t entirely sure how it works to prevent acne, only that it does.

Tretinoin works by influencing the production of skin oils, though the precise mechanism by which the medication works is unknown. Tretinoin makes it much more difficult for pimples to form on the face and body by altering the way skin develops and decreasing oil levels.

How Tretinoin Works On Acne?

Tretinoin works to treat acne by keeping skin pores open. It has been shown in numerous studies to be an effective acne treatment for both inflammatory and noninflammatory acne. It reduces the stickiness of dead skin cells, which can clog pores and cause acne breakouts such as blackheads, whiteheads, and zits.

Tretinoin also reduces the size of pores and has anti-inflammatory properties that help with acne. Finally, it aids in the control of the oily sebum produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands.

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My Tretinoin Journey

How Tretinoin Works on Wrinkles?

Tretinoin’s anti-aging properties include reducing fine lines and wrinkles and smoothing skin in a variety of ways, including improving cell turnover. Tretinoin aids in the removal of unhealthy or dead skin cells, revealing the healthy skin beneath. It also keeps your skin plump and fights aging by protecting and eventually increasing collagen production and skin elasticity.

How to Use Tretinoin Cream for Best Results?

Tretinoin cream is typically applied before going to bed. To learn how to use tretinoin cream, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Wash your skin with warm water and a mild soap or cleanser. Allow the skin to completely dry.
Step 2: Apply just enough medicine to lightly cover the affected area. A pea-sized amount will cover the entire face.
Step 3: Gently massage it into the affected area.
Step 4: Wash your hands thoroughly.
Step 5: Wait 20 minutes before applying moisturizer if necessary.
Step 6: Wash your face in the morning with a gentle facial scrub or a rough washcloth. This will help to reduce visible flaking.
Allow skin to dry before applying a good water-based moisturizer.

Apply tretinoin every other or third night when you first begin using it. The flaking and irritation are usually the most severe during the first two weeks. You can apply the medicine more frequently as your skin adjusts to it.

It’s fine to take a couple of days off if you notice an increase in irritation or flaking. Just don’t stop taking the medication without first consulting your doctor.

Tretinoin Side Effects

Tretinoin, like all medications, has some side effects. Tretinoin, in general, is a safe and effective medication.

However, some users report side effects ranging from minor skin irritation that subsides with continued use to more serious adverse effects.

The most common side effect of tretinoin use is a warm, stinging sensation in the skin immediately after application of the medication. This is frequently accompanied by dry, itchy skin, redness, mild scaling, and a mild burning sensation.

Tretinoin may also cause your acne to worsen before it improves, a phenomenon known as “tretinoin purge,” which we’ve discussed in greater detail. Typically, the “purge” is only temporary and then disappears.

Many of these minor side effects will go away on their own, while others can be easily remedied by using a moisturizer or other skincare products to counteract the dryness caused by tretinoin.

Tretinoin can cause serious side effects such as facial swelling and burning, conjunctivitis, swelling of the eyelids, skin discoloration, and blisters. These are uncommon side effects that should be treated immediately by a medical professional.

Considerations for Using Tretinoin

Apply tretinoin at night and avoid the sun—Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun reduces the active ingredient’s effectiveness.Furthermore, tretinoin can make your skin more sensitive and susceptible to sunburn.It is safe to continue using tretinoin during the hot summer months.Simply use as much shade and sunblock as possible, even on cloudy days.

Tretinoin can have unfavorable interactions with other skincare ingredients.While taking tretinoin, avoid products that tend to dry out your skin.Products containing spices, sulfur, lime, resorcinol, astringents, and salicylic acid should be avoided.

Wear a scarf or other face covering to protect your face from strong winds or cold; tretinoin can make you more sensitive to weather extremes.