Switching retinoids, is it ok?

I can't handle the irritation/purging from tretinoin on my 6th week so i switched to another derma & she switched me to adapalene(microsponge) gel. My question is, will i have to go through the whole process of retinoid purging/adjustment phase for adapalene? Im on my 10th week of retinoid/3rd week for adapalene. I see no signs of irritation, mild peeling, no more active pimples but tons of white & blackheads. When shall i see clear skin? I am not even acne prone to begin with.

Doctor Answers 2

Getting Used To Retinoids

Everyone's skin is a little different.  My usual suggestion is to start ANY new Retinoid only on Monday and Thursday nights for people with " really " sensitive skin, and Monday ,Wednesday and Friday nights for the rest of us.  Use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil to cleanse your skin and keep a tube of some OTC Hydrocortisone cream 1% around to

use in the AM if you get a little too scaly or irritated.  Most people adapt in 3-4 weeks and can add a day a week after a month or so.  

As to getting rid of the blackheads, well that's a whole lot more complicated question to

answer.  Retinoids alone are often not the answer.  For your particular needs your knowledgeable Dermatologist can be your new best friend.  Prescription topical and oral anti-inflammatory medications are sometimes necessary to "tame the beast", but in the future the Retinoids alone may bring you the clear skin you'll love.  So hang in there and

best of luck !


Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Adjusting to Retin A

Hang in there, it does get better. You don't go back to square one. The basic active ingredient is similar enough. Some skin won't tolerate high doses even after a long period of use. Every other day use might be what is needed. Also, retinols are very effective too for anti aging and are much better tolerated. 

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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