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Can Retin-A for treating facial acne cause any harm?

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Posted on Mon, 14 May 2018
Question: I started using a Retin A product called acretin 0.05. it's my first time on retin a products. I've been prescribed this cream because I got mild acne in my cheeks the past 2 months. I wanted to know what are the disadvantages of this product as I hear some people use it for years. my skin is flaky and dry now. can I mix it with moisturiser so my skin doesn't dry? And will it help my acne? And how long does it usually take.
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Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. (32 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Regarding use of tretinoin on face

Detailed Answer:
Hello. Thank you.
I am Dr kakkar (Dermatologist and Venereologist). I have noted your concern and I have viewed the image.
Retin A and other similar products contain Tretinoin as the ingredient.
Tretinoin is comedolytic and is useful in all grades of acne although in inflammatory acne (papules and pustules) tretinoin alone may not be very effective and may have to be combined with oral and/or topical antibiotics. Tretinoin is also an antiageing molecule and is effective in delaying and reversing fine lines and wrinkles so it can be used long term for these indications.
However, tretinoin being an irritant may cause dryness, skin peeling and redness as side effects. These side effects are usually noticed early on in therapy and reduce or abate as the skin gets used to tretinoin. To reduce these side effects tretinoin should be used sparingly and may be used either on alternate days or used with or over a non-comedogenic moisturizer. So yes, you can even mix it (dilute) with a little moisturizer. In addition to tretinoin at night you may also use clindamycin 1% gel during the day for your inflammatory acne. Ideally I would also suggest adding an oral antibiotic e.g doxycycline for your inflammatory acne.

Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Dr. Kakkar S.

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 9373 Questions

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Can Retin-A for treating facial acne cause any harm?

Brief Answer: Regarding use of tretinoin on face Detailed Answer: Hello. Thank you. I am Dr kakkar (Dermatologist and Venereologist). I have noted your concern and I have viewed the image. Retin A and other similar products contain Tretinoin as the ingredient. Tretinoin is comedolytic and is useful in all grades of acne although in inflammatory acne (papules and pustules) tretinoin alone may not be very effective and may have to be combined with oral and/or topical antibiotics. Tretinoin is also an antiageing molecule and is effective in delaying and reversing fine lines and wrinkles so it can be used long term for these indications. However, tretinoin being an irritant may cause dryness, skin peeling and redness as side effects. These side effects are usually noticed early on in therapy and reduce or abate as the skin gets used to tretinoin. To reduce these side effects tretinoin should be used sparingly and may be used either on alternate days or used with or over a non-comedogenic moisturizer. So yes, you can even mix it (dilute) with a little moisturizer. In addition to tretinoin at night you may also use clindamycin 1% gel during the day for your inflammatory acne. Ideally I would also suggest adding an oral antibiotic e.g doxycycline for your inflammatory acne. Regards