Directions for the Application of Retin-A?

I am going to purchase RetinA in Cozumel. What are the most common directions given for the daily application?

Doctor Answers 3

Retin-A Instructions...

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If this is your first time using Retin-A (Tretinoin) it is wise to start slow!  This product should be used only at night.  I like to recommend my patients to start every other night for the first week or so then slowly move into every night as you tolerate it more.  It is best advised if you wait at least 10 to 20 minutes after washing your face (so the skin is completely dry) before applying a thin layer all over the face. 

It is not uncommon to have some initial flaking and dryness on the skin.  If redness and irritation with excessive dryness persists stop using the product for a few days and start up again slowly, alternating nights again.  If you find that your skin is very sensitive you may also consider applying a thin layer of a moisturizer on before your Retin-A.

Directions for applying Retin A

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Retin A (tretinoin), made by Ortho Dermatologics, is a very effective product for acne (particularly blackheads and whiteheads) as well as for improving minor wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and sun damage.

Retin A increases the epidermal cell turnover and increases the shedding of dead skin cells.  These same beneficial actions of Retin A may also make it somewhat irritating to the skin.

There are several steps to follow to make Retin A an effective product in your regimen:

1. Clean your face with a mild, non-drying cleanser.  Be sure not to use any abrasive sponges or puffs, as that will increase irritation.

2. Blot the skin dry and allow 15-20 minutes before applying Retin A.

3. Apply a pea-sized amount onto your finger and distribute evenly onto the facial skin by placing small dots of the product all over and gently smoothing it in. Avoid the eye area, as that is the most sensitive skin on the face.

4. Apply Retin A only at night time, for two reasons: a. tretinoin is partially inactivated by sunlight, and b. tretinoin does make the skin more sun sensitive.  Use a broad-spectrum, oil-free, non-comedogenic sunblock in the mornings.

5. Start by using Retin A 2-3 times a week and gradually increase to nightly use.

Retin A may not be a tolerable product for all skin types or conditions.  Very sensitive skin or skin with rosacea may be too irritated by tretinoin.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Retin A directions

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Make sure that you are actually buying Retin A and not a product that you do not know the true ingredients for. Retin A for photoaging may be used at night. A small amount may be applied to each area of the face. However, the medicaiton can cause irritation, redness, photosensitivity. It should not be applied if pregnant. This product should be used under the supervision of a dermatologist.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.