What Is Retin-a And What Is It Used For?


rosacea1Retin-A is also known as tretinoin. It is a form of Vitamin A which can help the skin to repair itself. Applying Retin-A to your skin can treat acne, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and even lesson skin discoloration.

Retin-A can also make rough skin feel silky-smooth, and promotes a fresh, youthful appearance.

Retin-A is just one brand of tretinoin. Another popular and well-known brand is Avita.

While most healthy people can use Retin-A without any side effects, there are some people who should avoid these creams.

Who Can Use Retin-A

Retin-A is generally considered safe to use, but you should avoid applying it to your skin if you have sunburn, wind burns, or dry, chapped or broken skin.

You should not apply Retin-A to open wounds, or use it on skin that is clearly irritated. If you suffer from eczema, you can use Retin-A on parts of your body that are eczema free, but should not apply it to patches of rough or damaged skin.

Tell your doctor or your dermatologist if you are taking any medication, have any pre-existing medical conditions, or suffer from any allergies. In most cases it will still be safe for you to use Retin-A but there are some conditions for which the use of tretinoin is contraindicated.

apply_foam_to_face_2Your doctor or dermatologist will tell you how much cream to apply, and how long to use it for.

Be sure to follow the advice you are given. Do not expect overnight results. It may take several weeks or months for you to notice any improvement in your skin condition, but this is perfectly normal.

If you have been given Retin-A to treat acne, then you may notice that your condition feels as if it is getting worse at first. Do not stop using the cream if this happens to you.

It is not uncommon for acne to get worse when Retin-A use is initiated, but after a few weeks it should start to get better. However, if you notice no improvement after ten to twelve weeks, or the irritation becomes very severe, consult your doctor immediately.

Will Retin-A Make Rosacea Worse?

Rosacea is an incredibly common condition. There are around 45 million people worldwide who suffer from rosacea, of which 16 million are located in the USA.

Rosacea affects both men and women, and flare-ups commonly start between the ages of 30 and 50. Mild cases of rosacea may manifest themselves as a tendency to flush easily, but repeated, unmanaged flare ups can cause more severe, long-lasting redness.

The relationship between Retin-A and rosacea is unclear, but most doctors do not recommend the use of Retin-A for rosacea sufferers.

People who use Retin-A should avoid exposure to sunlight or to artificial ultraviolet light because tretinoin can make you more sensitive to sunlight. Since rosacea flare-ups are often triggered by exposure to sunlight, it is easy to understand why some people think that Retin-A can aggravate rosacea.aloe-vera-girl

Retin-A is usually used to treat acne, and mild rosacea is often confused for adult-onset acne.

If your doctor prescribes Retin-A, and after using it for several weeks you feel that your condition has definitely worsened, you should talk to your doctor and tell them that you feel you might have rosacea, not acne.

Retin-A should not damage your skin in the long term, so your body will repair the irritation that you have experienced, but the soon your stop using Retin-A as a rosacea sufferer, the better.

In general, rosacea sufferers should avoid anything that can irritate or thin the skin, including Retin-A as well as topical steroid creams.

Even if these creams do not actually increase the likelihood of flare-ups occuring, they do make the skin thinner, and therefore make the flare-ups much more visible when they do happen. This is not a desirable effect.

If you are using Retin-A as an anti-aging cream, and you notice redness, bumps, soreness and swelling, talk to your dermatologist immediately and ask for an alternative. There are some creams for sensitive skin that are much better choices for rosacea sufferers, and your dermatologist will be able to recommend one that will work for you.


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