Tretinoin
DESCRIPTION

Tretinoin is a prescription treatment of acne. This medication comes in three strengths, 0.025%, 0.05% and 0.1%.

How it works

Tretinoin treats acne and also reduces the appearance of stretch marks by increasing collagen production in the dermis.

Tretinoin belongs to retinoids derived from Vitamin A. Retinoids regulate epithelial cell growth. Epithelial cells are your skin cells and there are different types of these. Retinoids are also known to suppress tumor genes.

The most common skin conditions treated by retinoids is acne and wrinkles, however it’s widely used for several other dermatological purposes such as inflammatory skin disorders.

Uses

Tretinoin helps reduce severe acne and promotes the quick healing of the pimples that develop overtime. Tretinoin is also used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Dosage

The recommended dose for adults is a thin layer applied on a daily basis in the affected area during bedtime.

For those who are 12 years or older, it’s still a thin layer to be applied before bed time. However, you need to wash your face with a mild soap 20 to 30 minutes prior to application.

Use Tretinoin exactly the way you’re supposed to and advised by your doctor. Read the instructions in the label. There are several creams and gels, with varying strengths, depending on the severity of your acne you will be recommended the appropriate strength.

Side effects

During the first few weeks of application you’ll experience;

Dryness
Redness of the skin
Scaling
Mild burning
And the worsening of the acne

Some of the common side effects are as follows;

Dryness of the skin
Peeling of skin
Redness of the skin
Stinging skin
Changes in skin color

You might tend to get a severe irritation for the creams and gels given, if the irritation is more than you expected discontinue the use of Tretinoin. Mild irritation is to be expected. Consult your doctor immediately if you feel too uncomfortable.

Precautions

If you have recently used products containing sulfur, salicylic acid or resorcinol, use Tretinoin with extra care.

Let your doctor know if you are allergic to any retinoids, vitamin A drugs or any other medication before application of Tretinoin. It’s vital that you inform your doctor as this may result in a severe allergic reaction and sometimes even scarring.

Do not use Tretinoin if you’re taking any supplements, prescription or nonprescription medicine.

Avoid the use of Tretinoin if;

You have an abnormally high white blood count
Eczema
Diabetes
Sunburn
Taking any herbal preparation
Any other medication that causes skin dryness as excessive dryness is a problem.

Always let your doctor know what medication you’re on so that you know what to stop while you’re taking Tretinoin.

Self-care

Tretinoin is strictly not to be applied on pregnant women. Even if you’re planning to get pregnant, it’s advised that you avoid this medication.

It’s not recommended for nursing mothers either, although it not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, you must immediately notify your physician.

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