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Overview

Tretinoin (Retin-A, Avita, Renova) is a derivative of Vitamin A. It is one of the most highly popular treatments for people who suffer from comedonal acne, blackheads and whiteheads. It is available as a cream or gel (brand name Retin-A). It works by escalating skin cell turnover and removing plugged up dirt and grime from the hair follicle. Tretinoin cream is also good a stopping the growth of new comedones. Tretinoin is also one of the few topical medications that has been proven to be effective at treating and reducing wrinkles. It is marketed by various of pharmaceutical companies as AltinacTM; Avita®; RENOVA®; Retin-ATM; Retin-A®

Tretinoin operates by changing the cells of the skin rather than killing them. Tretinoin is able to produce a much younger and smoother looking skin as it is able to increase the speed at which skin cells turnovers.  Skin pigment is determined by Melanocytes. Tretinoin is able to suppress these skin cells and a result of this is that there is a better chance for even skin tone and a reduction in skin discoloration. Tretinoin is also able to reduce wrinkles and fine lines of the skin and this gives the skin an overall smoother and younger look.

Tretinoin is a prescription drug and it ranges from a concentration of 0.025% to 0.1% in cream vehicle. There is a gel vehicle that is available in concentrations of 0.01% – .025%. The gel is better at penetrating the skin. The cost of tretinoin is $60-$115 for a 40g tube. This size should last between 4-6 months. There are more expensive branded names of Tretinoin such as Renova whose prices range from $100-$140 for a 40g tube..

Tretinoin is a very effective treatment; however it needs to be used over a period of months to get the right results. Many people abandon the product after using it only for a couple of weeks. It may take 6-9 weeks to see a noticeable difference. It takes at least 6 months to see a noticeable difference in wrinkles. The best benefit is seen if Retin-A is used for at least a year.

Does Tretinoin Really Work?

There have many different clinical studies that have shown tretinoin to be effective in treating many skin conditions. The studies showed that it reduced signs of aging such as rough surfaces, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and even wrinkles. In the study it was also noted that the benefits of using this cream were observed when tretinoin was combined with a proper skin care program and proper protection from the harmful rays of the sun.

The studies that were conducted to see the effects and benefits of tretinoin on the skin; saw benefits after around 6 months. Currently there are no studies that have been done to look at the long term effects of using this product. Generally there has nothing that has been noted about any adverse effects from using this product. It should be noted also, that continuous use of the product needs to be done or else the benefits that the skin gains will diminish.

The topical creams that you get with a doctor’s prescription can contain derivatives of tretinoin. However the tretinoin contained in these creams are not of the same concentrations as the ones used in the clinical trials. There  is no real information that is sure of these creams effectiveness.

Possible side effects of Tretinoin

There are many common side effects that are associated with tretinoin. This can range from burning, skin redness and peeling. These side effects are only temporary as your skin becomes accustomed to the medication.

If you use this medication a lot, there is the possibility that your skin will become sensitive to the sun. There is a higher chance that the skin might become sunburned. It is good if you use a sunscreen and also try to minimize your sun exposure.

Best Way to Apply Trenitoin

Tretinoin can be very effective and beneficial for the skin. Below are some simple guidelines to help you get the most out of this product.

  • Apply a small amount of tretinoin at night. A little can last a long time.
  • When you wake up, wash your face with soft cloth or gentle scrub for the face. This can help to lower the amount of flaking that might occur.
  • Apply a moisturizer that is water based. This will help to rehydrate your face and try and reduce some of the drying effects of tretinoin.
  • Apply more moisturizer if flaking happens throughout the course of the day.
  • If you are using a moisturizer, ensure that it has sunscreen in it. If it doesn’t, apply sunblock once you are exposed to the sun. Tretinoin makes your skin vulnerable to sunburn.
  • If there is intense irritation or flaking, you should stop using the product for a few days. If you want to stop completely, please speak with your doctor.
  • If you apply more than the recommended amount, you will not notice faster results. This method might also cause to an increase in skin irritation.
  • The tretinoin gel seems to give better results as it can penetrate the skin more.
  • You can wear makeup if using the product, but you need to ensure that your skin is cleaned properly.
  • When using tretinoin for the first time, apply it on the skin every other night. Your skin should take 2 weeks to adjust to the medication. When it does, you can apply it daily.

Other Uses of Trenitoin

Tretinoin not only has it dermatology uses. It can also be used a hair loss treatment. There are also uses of tretinoin to slow skin aging, remove wrinkles and stretch marks.

Tretinoin is also known as a treatment for leukemia.  With the combination with other drugs it will cause the immature blood cells to differentiate,  mature and die. Leukemia is the high development and concentration of immature cells. Tretinoin can cause these cells to develop into fully functional cells. This treatment is usually prescribed over 3 months, with the use of 8 capsules per day.

One Comment »

  • mishti chakraborty said:

    I am feeding my 4months baby, can i use the tretinoin based cream?

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