How Many Nights a Week Should I Use Retin-A (For Aging and Acne) if I Have Rosacea?

My skin isn't particularly sensitive; i've developed a reistance to retinol over the years but I do have mild rosacea and was told that Retin-A would aggravate it. I still want to you use it for its many benefits. How often should I use it?

Doctor Answers 1

Every other night to start

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In patients with rosacea, retinoids can be aggravating if to much product is used and retinoid formulation is too harsh for your skin. If you have been using retinol for years with no problems, then you will likely be more tolerable of tretinoin/retin-A as your skin has already gone through the initial adjustment phase.  I typically recommend starting with a lower strength retinoid such as 0.02% to 0.025% to start, and in rosacea prone skin I typically recommend a gentle tretinoin preparation with an emollient base, such as Renova, and at least initially using it every other night if tolerated. It is also important in sensitive skin/rosacea prone skin to avoid use of the medication close to the eyes or mouth. I also recommend to patients to wait approximately 20 minutes after washing their face to apply the medication. If you have a large amount of irritation or a rosacea flare, discontinue use.

Stuart Dermatologist

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