Tretinoin is a powerful medication used to treat acne and smooth rough, wrinkled skin. It is a topical medication that requires a prescription from your dermatologist or licensed healthcare provider.
The primary way that tretinoin works is by encouraging epidermal turnover. This process sloughs off dead skin cells that can clog pores and attract bacteria that cause acne.
How It Works
Tretinoin is FDA-approved to treat acne and wrinkles. It works to reduce breakouts and improve skin’s texture, and it also fades hyperpigmentation marks that sometimes remain after acne has cleared up.
It works by encouraging skin cells to turn over faster, thereby clearing the pores and reducing the risk of future outbreaks. It also promotes cell turnover, which helps to smooth the skin and even out its tone.
It is important to remember that it can take several weeks or even months before you see significant improvement in your acne and your skin’s appearance with tretinoin. Some people may notice that their acne worsens during the first few weeks of treatment. However, this is a normal part of the process. You should continue to use the medication as prescribed to ensure the best results. It’s also important to use moisturizer to help minimize dryness that can occur with tretinoin. It’s also a good idea to avoid using any other topical acne treatments, especially those containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, unless your doctor advises otherwise.
Tretinoin is an effective and safe medication when used as directed. It is the gold standard for topical treatments in minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as fighting acne breakouts.
It works in several ways: first, it speeds up cell turnover. This means dead skin cells are removed and replaced with newer, living ones. This helps reduce the buildup of dead skin that can lead to clogged pores. It also encourages the breakdown of sebum and makes cornified (dry) skin cells shed more easily. It also inhibits the activity of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs), which can break down collagen and contribute to wrinkles.
MMPs are involved in the inflammatory process that can occur in acne. Because of this, tretinoin may prevent the inflammation that can cause breakouts in people with acne. Tretinoin is a gel or cream and should be applied to the face once daily at bedtime. Wash the affected area and gently dry with a soft towel before applying the medication.
While tretinoin is effective at treating acne, it can cause skin to be sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, avoiding sun exposure and wearing protective clothing and sunscreen is advised. It is also important to moisturize regularly to avoid dryness and irritation.
When applying tretinoin, it’s best to use a small amount on clean skin. Wash the area with a mild soap or cleanser and gently pat it dry. Avoid excessive washing and scrubbing, as this may worsen your acne symptoms.
It’s important to use this medication only as directed by your doctor. Do not apply it to cuts, scrapes, sunburned or eczema-affected skin. If it gets into your eyes, flush with large amounts of water and call your doctor or poison control center immediately. If you have very dry or sensitive skin, talk with your doctor about starting with a weaker concentration of this medication and gradually increasing your dosage. It’s also important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How to Use
Apply tretinoin cream or gel once a day. Wash your hands, face and neck with mild soap and water before applying medication. This medicine can irritate your skin, especially in the first few weeks of use. Avoid applying it to cuts, scrapes, sunburned, or swollen areas of your skin. Keep this medication away from your eyes, ears, and the corners of your mouth. If it gets into your eyes, flush them immediately with large amounts of water.
Tretinoin helps slough off dead skin cells that can clog pores and form blackheads or whiteheads. It also helps diminish pitted or textured acne scars.
Tretinoin requires patience, as it can take up to 12 weeks before you see results. However, if you stick with it, you’ll likely get rid of your acne and prevent it from coming back. Thinking long term will help you remain focused and realistic about your treatment goals. It can also help you avoid getting discouraged by any initial setbacks. Tretinoin for Acne