Retin A...REALLY - Portland, OR

I've used Retin A for 3 years now, slowing...

I've used Retin A for 3 years now, slowing increasing the strenght to .1%. I've dealt with nothing but red, irritated, peeling skin to this day. I tell my derm who says to "be patient and don't give up." I was stupid to listen to that for 3 years! I have dry peeling scaly skin; my self esteem is in the toilet. I think I leave the house looking good for work, only to check the mirror by 10am and see my face basically falling off! Flakes all over.
My skin texture is WORSE. Orange-peel. I rather have acne to be honest.
I officially stopped using it after a conversation with a Sephora rep of all people who was more knowledgable than my derm. My derm just says to use Cetaphil or Cereva. I feel like I have Land O’ Lakes smeared on my face all day and night. My makeup runs off, I STILL experience minor breakouts and my skin is now oily AND dry.
As for antiaging, youth and young skin run in my family and I use sunscreen and antioxidants so not so worried anymore (I’m 44 and often get mistaken for 30!). I would rather have laugh lines at this point.
It’s toxic, figuratively and literally, and while it may work for some, not for me. It’s caused more harm than good and I only hope the “damage” and inflammation is reversible. I rather do the occasional scrub/exfoliation and get facials; over-all the cost will be lower in SO many ways!


I had a similar experience with another retinoid (tazorac) 2 yrs ago. My pores starting to open and form a connect the dot line on my upper cheeks. I immediate went to see my derm who told me to rub the retinoid into my skin especially this area. I wish I hadn't listen to her but to my gut instinct which was to stop using the product. After 8 days my pores connected and form lines. I woke up one morning to find wrinkles on my forehead, moustache area, my cheeks looking rough and scratchy. Its been 2yrs and my skin hasn't recovered. It's now very thin, fragile looking and easily irritated. I also have lots of broken capillaries. It's very upsetting when you open a news article and read all the hype about retinoids. I wonder who if really promoting this? The derms or the pharm companies. I don't understand dermatologists fascination with retinoids. I do know that they only access to retinoids is through a derm. I like most patients have acne and was desperate to find something that helped. It took 8 yrs of visiting many derms before I decided to use retinoids. Acne is irritation itself and I couldn't understand how a product that irritated my skin would help me. I would visit a derms office and leave thinking what a wasted of time. I decided to give it a go because every derm was telling me the same thing and I was laid off so I could stay at home a few months to deal with my skin adjusting. This happen to me 2 months in. When this happened I called the manufacturer and they refused to comment. They told me to reach out to my dr. I asked about their case studies if I could read them. I couldn't. They didn't what any interaction with me.
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I'm sorry you went through this too! There are no studies of long-term effects, either, and some women have been using for YEARS...starting out as acne treatment and eventually using it for anti-aging for which the FDA has yet to approve. Even my own derm said she'd write me scripts for the rest of my life if I wanted because she thought it would be a great anti-aging treatment eventually for me. No thank you!
Could you show some pictures of what your skin is like now? Maybe you have just very sensitive skin or a skin condition that hasnt been diagnosed. Also what brand of ret a have you been using and do you use anything else with it?
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3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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