How long after using the Retin-a should I start to notice a difference? Do I use it continuously even if I don't break out?

Doctor Answers 2

Topical tretinoin (ex. Retin-A) takes time for smoother skin

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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.


Dr. Chaboki

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Retin A for the skin

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Retin A will help moderate the way your skin sloughs and can help with acne in 2-4 weeks. It also has been proven to increase collagen production therefore helping with fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps moderate sun damage therefore it helps with reducing the risk of skin cancer. Keep using it!

Thomas W. Bender, III MD
Mobile Dermatologic Surgeon

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.