Retin-A (Trentinoin) 0.1% Around Eyes - Now I Have Wrinkles, Dark Circles, Thin Skin

I've been using Tretinoin 0.1% for 2 weeks now. First timer-used .1% around my whole face,and around eyes Everyday for 2 weeks. Face-filled with acne,Eye-red,irritated,wrinkly and later diagnosed with conjunctivits.No one informed me of correct usage or dosage-So after some research,I NOW know my dosage was too strong, I used it Everyday which is why it got irritated.BUT My question is 1.when will these dry wrinkles,thin skin,acne go away? 2.Is this permanent? 3.Are Tretinoin Effects reversible?

Doctor Answers 2

Retin A around the eyes

What you are describing is an irritation around the eyes due to Retin A.  Skin around the eyes is the thinnest and most delicate skin on the body.  It gets irritated easily.

In general I recommend that patients start slowly with a low dose of Retin A, like 0.025% cream and build up. 

The wrinkling, irritation, and skin sensitivity will resolve.  Stop the Retin A for about a week, use an oil-free, gentle moisuturizer daily in the dry areas, and when the skin has calmed down, restart with a lower dose at a slower pace.

These are the directions I give my patients for using Retin A:

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.

Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Retin-A for use on face

Generally you should implement the Retin-A on a more gradual intermittent basis followed by increase in strength. I would decrease the frequency and implement use of a moisturizer and high SPF sunscreen/block during the day. Allow your skin to build up a tolerance. There are other formulations of Retin A such as the Micro or Renova versions that are better tolerated.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

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.