Retin-A (tretinoin) is a powerful acne treatment medication, derived from vitamin A. It can be used to treat mild to moderately severe acne, and is especially effective for those with comedonal acne (many blackheads and whiteheads).
How it Works:
All tretinoin products work by speeding up cell turnover rates, rapidly exfoliating the skin and decreasing the buildup of dead cells within the follicle. This, in turn, reduces the formation of comedones. Retin-A also makes existing blackheads less "sticky," helping the blockages make their way to the surface to be expelled.
Like most acne medications, Retin-A takes time to work. You will likely not see any change in the skin for several weeks, and it may take several months for noticeable improvement to occur.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some side effects. Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following and they continue to worry you:
Dry and peeling skin
Burning and stinging
Irritation and inflammation
Red, raised areas on the skin
Rash or itching
Change in skin colour
Disturbance of the levels of enzymes in the liver. This usually does not cause any problems but tell your doctor you are using RETIN-A if you have a blood test, or you are suspected to have problems with your liver such as hepatitis.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following as you may need urgent medical care:
Severe or persistent irritation
Swelling in one or both eyes
About the Author