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Archive for July, 2012

Ask Our Expert: Retin-A

Friday, July 20th, 2012

RetinA postQ:   My dermatologists gave me a prescription for Retin-A, but after a few days my skin became very red and irritated.   My Doctor explained that several weeks of skin irritation is often just par for the course when using Retin-A.  He asked me to try applying it every other night instead of every night, to be patient and that eventually the irritation would resolve itself.  I stopped using the Retin-A because the irritation was worse than my aging skin.   Is there anything else I can do?

A:  I am happy to report – YES!  Both our Bloomington area and Champaign area Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic patients have found success with a few simple adjustments to the way they apply their Retin-A, Renova, Tretinion, etc.

1.  After you cleanse your face, pat it dry and wait at least 15 minutes (to assure your skin is completely dry) before applying your Retin-A.

2. Apply a pea size amount.  This is typically all you need for the entire face. Remember that more is not better in this case. 

3. Avoid combining other exfoliating or skin regenerating products like glycolic acids, with Retin-A, at least until your skin is able to easily tolerate the Retin-A.

4. Always apply a moisturizer on top of your Retin-A.  This is a very important step in the success of your regimen so resist skipping it. (If you find that you are still experiencing dry, irritated skin after trying all of the suggestions here,  you can try mixing your moisturizer and Retin-A together as this will reduce its potency. )

5. Begin applying your Retin-A every third night.  As your skin tolerates the Retin-A, increase use to every other night, then every night.

6. Remember that Retin-A and like products will cause increased sensitivity to the sun.  Therefore Retin-A should only be applied at night only, never during the day.  Wear a medical grade broad-spectrum suncreen every day, re-apply the sunscreen when needed and avoid excessive sun exposure.

If despite all of the above suggestions, you find that you are still unable to tolerate Retin-A, you may want to consider medical microdermabrasion.  It is a pain-free, even relaxing way to keep your skin well exfoliated and looking fresh.  For more information on medical microdermabrasion.

Roxanne, Skincare & Laser Specialist

 

 

 

 

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