Is Tretinoin Good For Acne
If you were to ask the FDA, acne is the only approved application for tretinoin in any form. Tretinoins main mechanism of action is in its ability to speed up the rate at which your skin sheds old cells and replaces them with healthy new ones. In the world of skincare, we call this cellular rejuvenation or cell turnover.
So, how does this help treat acne? The seed that causes acne is formed deep within the pores of your skin. It happens when an accumulation of sebum , dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells become trapped within the pores. While it sounds unpleasant, all these things are on the surface of our skin almost constantly. Cleansing and toning help to remove them, but they are quickly replaced throughout the day. In many ways, our skin adapts naturally to this.
However, when all this stuff gets trapped in the pores, it can cause problems. How does all of this get trapped? Dead skin cells are often the culprit. When they accumulate and are not effectively removed from the skin, they form a thicker layer over the pores and settle into them. You can probably see where this is going to cause some problems for your complexion.
As tretinoin helps speed up cellular renewal, it also helps your skin shed those dry, dead skin cells that can trap oils, dirt and bacteria inside. Most people who are prescribed tretinoin for their acne report positive results.
Is Tretinoin An Effective Acne Treatment
In general, retinoids such as tretinoin are the mainstays of acne treatment, and this is because theyre widely effective and popular for that reason.
Although popular, you may be wondering: What does tretinoin do for acne?
According to research from the International Journal of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, tretinoin is an effective topical acne treatment option, producing reductions in the number of both inflammatory and noninflammatory acne lesions, unclogging pores and even reducing discoloration and acne scars.
For more severe forms of acne, tretinoin may be combined with another treatment, such as birth control or antibiotics.
What Are The Side Effects Of Using Tretinoin
In the first couple of weeks, you might experience temporary skin irritation, like peeling, dryness, flaking, or sensitivity, as your skin gets used to your new serum. If youre prone to acne, you might experience purging, which is when existing acne buildup surfaces faster due to increased cell turnover. All these side effects are temporary and can be minimized with proper care.
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Why Does Tretinoin Cause A Purge
Why does tretinoin worsen the very condition its designed to treat, and what exactly is going on?
The term purge is a bit of a misnomer. Its tempting to imagine that your skin needs to rid itself of the substances that may be clogging pores: from oil and dirt to dead skin cells and bacteria. However, it isn’t just ridding itself of these substances in the traditional sense of a purge. During this temporary phase, the skin is adjusting and preparing itself to help the new medication to work to its full potential. Remember, your skin is undergoing a more rapid cell turnover than its used to. All of the substances that were clogging your pores get pushed to the surface layer of your skin, and because things are happening at a faster pace, you may experience light inflammation, contributing to breakouts.
Frustrating? Without a doubt. Expected and necessary? Absolutely. You may experience breakouts in the usual areas, but you might also get pimples in new areas or a larger or lesser amount than normal.
Everybody’s experience is different, but dermatologists agree: the most important thing you can do is trust the process and stick with it. The tretinoin purge means that the retinoic acid is working and that you are on the way to healthy, clear skin, possibly for the first time in years!
Some Side Effects Can Be Serious If You Experience Any Of These Symptoms Call Your Doctor Immediately:
- pain or discomfort at the treatment area
Tretinoin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
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How Does Tretinoin Reduce Acne
Tretinoin helps reduce acne by increasing skin cell turnover. Often, those with acne have a slower than normal skin cell turnover rate which can contribute to clogged pores and breakouts.
Tretinoin works to clear out clogged pores, kills acne-causing bacteria, reduces inflammation, and regulates sebum production. It also helps to keep clogged pores from happening in the first place. With consistent use, it can help clear acne and keep it clear.
This topical medication pushes clogged pores up to the surface and then acts as a comedolytic, preventing clogged pores from forming.
Tretinoin can also help reduce the appearance of leftover acne scarring or hyperpigmentation from past breakouts. It also reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Topical solutions like tretinoin are an effective acne treatment option. However, treating symptoms without treating the root cause might make for an uphill battle.
How To Use And Store
Retina-A is used once daily before bedtime. Apply enough to cover the affected area lightly. Putting on a thick layer will not improve results and may only increase skin irritation.
Avoid applying Retin-A around the corners of the eyes, nose, or mouth. You should not apply it to open wounds, as this can cause pain and inflammation.
Protect your skin from the sun, wind, and cold. Your skin will be more sensitive to the elements for several months after starting tretinoin. Daily sunscreen is advised.
Retin-A cream, gel, and liquid can be stored safely at temperatures under 80 degrees F. The medication does not require refrigeration but can be refrigerated if there is a risk of excessive heat exposure.
Retin-A gel is flammable. Keep the gel well away from open flames, and do not expose it to temperatures over 120 degrees F.
Keep the tube tightly sealed and out of the reach of children. Discard any expired drugs.
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Role Of Retinoids In Acne Management
It is generally agreed that multiple molecular pathways are involved in acne, with four primary pathophysiologic mechanisms :
Abnormal desquamation within the sebaceous follicles that leads to obstruction of the pilosebaceous canal.
Androgen-driven excess sebum production.
Proliferation within the follicle by Propionibacterium acnes, which generates proinflammatory stimuli.
Altered immune system activity and inflammation.
While there is an interplay among the pathogenic factors, abnormal desquamation and sebaceous hyperplasia are arguably the most important because together they are thought to induce the microcomedonethe precursor of all acne lesions . The essential action of inflammation in all ongoing processes of acnefrom the initiation of the microcomedone to the secondary lesions is also increasingly appreciated .
Dose-dependent actions of adapalene at the molecular level. From Tenaud et al.
Dose-Dependent Effects on Primary Acne Lesions
Most recently, the fixed combination adapalene 0.3%-benzoyl peroxide 2.5% has shown efficacy in a patient population with substantially more severe acne than is typically treated by topical monotherapy . The higher concentration 0.3 A/BPO was associated with higher clinical success rates and efficacy on all types of acne lesions .
Dose-dependent clinical success rate of 0.3 A/BPO, A/BPO, and vehicle in patients with severe acne at baseline. From Weiss et al.
Effects on Secondary Acne Lesions
How Do You Start Using Tretinoin While Minimizing Side Effects
To get the most out of your tretinoin serum, you want to introduce it properly to your skingiving your skin a chance to adapt and providing the protection it needs. Follow these tips to minimize the side effects of starting a tretinoin treatment.
Theres no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to skincareits super personal! It might take time to find the right formulation and frequency for your skin, and you might see results at a different time than someone else.
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How To Treat Hormonal Acne With Tretinoin
While tretinoin can not help rebalance your hormones, itâs still a great acne treatment option. Letâs get into the details of tretinoin for hormonal acne.
Tretinoin is a proven effective acne treatment. Some researchers consider it the foundation of effective acne therapy.
In most cases, acne lesions are significantly reduced over 2-3 months of consistent use. But does tretinoin treat all types of acne?
Hormonal acne is a tricky one because the cause is an internal imbalance. A hormonal imbalance can cause issues such as acne, hair loss, anxiety, depression, and sometimes physical pain.
When it comes to hormonal acne, the driving force is often androgenic hormones. Other hormones, such as estrogen or progesterone can play a role as well.
While tretinoin can not help rebalance your hormones, itâs still a great acne treatment option. Letâs get into the details of tretinoin for hormonal acne.
It Kicks Aging In The Ass
Tretinoin is considered the gold standard anti-aging ingredient in dermatology.
How effective is it, you ask? Check out what this 61 year old woman looks like after using tretinoin for 28 years! Full video here.
I KNOW RIGHT?! Like, zayum gurl! You looking GOOD.
Given, this is just one person. Maybe she just got lucky or eats kale for dinner. What do we know, right? Well, the scientific literature paints a similar picture!
For example, a very well controlled study involving 360 participants found significant improvements in fine lines and wrinkles after 24 weeks of using tretinoin cream 0.025%. Other studies have been replicated with similar findings. Despite most improvements occurring with fine wrinkling, a reduction in deeper wrinkles and tactile roughness was also observed.
On a side note, 0.025% tretinoin cream is on the lower end of the strengths available. Some people use a full 0.1% daily ! However, using this high of a percentage may be unnecessary altogether.
One study found there was no clinical or statistically significant difference between 0.025% and 0.1% tretinoin after 48 weeks, besides the severity of irritation . So if you decide to use Tretinoin for anti-aging purposes, know that you will still be getting the benefits with smaller dose prescriptions.
Point being, the more collagen we can produce the more we slow down the aging process. Hence, why tretinoin is awesome it increases collagen production!
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How To Use Tretinoin With Hydroquinone
The first thing you want to do is talk with your dermatologist about your skins condition and needs. The doctor will examine your skin and then formulate a treatment plan based on their findings.
In determining an appropriate treatment plan, your doctor may consider your age, skin color and condition, the amount of sun exposure your skin receives, and other factors.
Based on their findings, there are several ways your doctor may recommend using tretinoin with hydroquinone. One way is applying the tretinoin at night and then applying the hydroquinone product in the morning.
Another way to use them together is to apply them both at the same time, waiting for one to dry before applying the other. If you use them at the same time, make sure that you cover a small area so that the products dont get wasted.
Tretinoin and hydroquinone also come as a combination product that you apply to your skin once a day before bedtime. According to Drugs.com, you will likely notice results after about four months of use.
Ensure to keep all follow-up appointments because any adjustments will be made based on what has happened since the last visit. You should also ask questions about your treatment during each appointment so you can be up to date with your skin condition.
Retinol And Acne: The Basics
Retinol, or vitamin A1, is a popular ingredient in skin care products thats used to treat acne and reduce the effects of aging on your skin. It belongs to a class of medications called retinoids.
Most scientific research into retinol and acne looks into its effects when used with other ingredients. This makes it difficult to accurately assess retinols true effectiveness as an acne treatment.
On the other hand, numerous studies have found that retinol can help to treat wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.
While retinol may be effective for mild acne, stronger retinoids are available that might be better choices if you have moderate or severe acne. These include topical tretinoin and the oral medication isotretinoin.
Our Prescription Acne Cream contains tretinoin, a more powerful topical retinoid thats ideal for treating mild, moderate or severe acne.
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How Tretinoin Works As An Acne Treatment
Tretinoin is a topical retinoid a derivative of vitamin A thats widely used in skincare. It works by speeding up the rate at which your body replaces old skin cells with new ones a process thats referred to as skin cell turnover.
Tretinoin prevents acne by helping your body get rid of old skin cells, which can become trapped inside hair follicles with oil, at a faster pace. This makes it less likely that youll develop acne due to sebum and skin cell buildup.
Our guide to using tretinoin for acne prevention goes into more detail about the entire biological process behind tretinoin. On the whole, regular use of tretinoin over time may help keep skin fresh and clear, significantly reducing the risk of developing whiteheads and blackheads on your face.
This is supported by research.
One study, from 2009, analyzed the efficacy of standard .05 percent tretinoin gel and .1 percent tretinoin gel microsphere . At the end of the 12-week study, which included 1,537 participants, researchers concluded that both the standard tretinoin gel and the tretinoin gel microsphere significantly reduced inflammatory and noninflammatory lesions vs the placebo group.
And another study from 2015 looked at tretinoin mixed with an oral antibiotic in the studys case, clindamycin. At the end of the 12-week study, researchers found that a mix of of tretinoin and clindamycin reduced acne by from 13.70 ± 4.80 to 1.30 ± 2.95, respectively.
Other Skincare And Hair Products
Using tretinoin with other acne products should be avoided unless otherwise instructed by a medical professional, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration . Combining products can cause severe skin irritation and dryness. The same goes for using fragrant lotions, peels, harsh exfoliants, astringents, and alcohol-based cleansers or hair removal products simultaneously as tretinoin. You might also avoid trying new make-up during treatment, as you wont know how your skin could react to it. Your dermatologist will be able to help you pick products that wont cause additional skin irritation.
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How To Use Retinol For Acne
Acne creams, serums and other products containing retinol are easy to find and available over the counter, making it easy to add retinol to your acne prevention routine.
Retinol is generally a safe, non-irritating ingredient. However, its best to start using it slowly to limit your risk of experiencing side effects.
Try starting by applying products containing retinol one to two times per week, then adjust your usage based on how your skin feels.
Before you apply any products containing retinol, make sure to thoroughly wash your face. Our guide to washing your face properly explains how you should wash your face before you apply retinol or other acne treatments.
What Should I Watch For While Using This Medicine
Your acne may get worse initially and should then start to improve. It may take 2 to 12 weeks before you see the full effect.
Do not wash your face more than 2 or 3 times a day, unless directed by your doctor or health care professional. Do not use the following products on the same areas that you are treating with this medicine, unless otherwise directed by your doctor or health care professional: other topical agents with a strong skin drying effect such as products with a high alcohol content, astringents, spices, the peel of lime or other citrus, medicated soaps or shampoos, permanent wave solutions, electrolysis, hair removers or waxes, or any other preparations or processes that might dry or irritate your skin.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths. Avoid cold weather and wind as much as possible, and use clothing to protect you from the weather. Skin treated with this medicine may dry out or get wind burned more easily.
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