How Effective is Retin-A Alone?

I am an African American, 45 years old, and have excessively oily and sensitive facial skin. I have researched Accutane, Retin-A and even Diane 35. I'm afraid of oral meds. How effective is Retin-A alone for acne treatment?

Doctor Answers 2

Newer formulation of prescription strength tretinoin available to balance efficacy and tolerability

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There is not a molecule available in the market that has a better clinical track record than prescription strength tretinoin for rejuvenation and acne treatment. However, you should be under the care of an experienced board-certified dermatologist who can judiciously select a formulation that is both efficacious and gentle for someone with combination skin. There are newer and more gentle formulations of prescription strength topical retinoid that can minimize irritation. The key is to use very sparingly, no sooner than 30 minutes after face wash, start every 2nd or 3rd night, and utilize noncomedogenic moisturizer as needed.

Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Retin-A is great for acne

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Retin-A is one of the most effective topical medications for treating acne. It will help cut down the oils and treat existing acne. Another great thing about Retin-A is that is will lighten any dark spots that may occurred as a result of breakouts. For this reason, I often use Retin-A for treating dark skinned acne patients. You will need to see a dermatologist to determine if Retin-A alone will be enough.

Patricia Farris, MD
Metairie 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.