Topical retinoids (ex. Retin-A) have been used by dermatologists and plastic surgeons for over 30 years to help reduce wrinkles and reduce damage from sun exposure. Normally younger patients will start with a lower concentration, while older patients or those with more sun damage may start at higher concentration. Results develop gradually over months, and many cosmetic specialists will recommend continuing a retinoid containing product indefinitely. Patients may experience redness, flaking, itchiness, or irritation when first starting a topical retinoid, which usually resolves once your skin acclimates to the treatment.
Retinoids compliment many other cosmetic treatments such as chemical peel or plastic surgery, such as a facelift or eyelid surgery. Over-the-counter products are always weaker than prescription products. Speak with a cosmetic specialist in your area. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can he/she help determine appropriate options for you.