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  • Aug 14, 2018

Retinoids for External Use

Tretinoin is a synthetic drug and is a derivative of Vitamin A.

We recommend use of Tretinoin as it is an established and effective treatment option for pimples and certain other disorders. The drug is approved by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) of the USA. It is widely used for the treatment of wrinkles, pimples, enlarged skin pores, and skin blemishes across the globe.

Tretinoin works by increasing the rate at which skin cells grow, to produce more collagen (skin supportive element), and to additionally remove top layers of the skin. Tretinoin can cause the skin to feel rough thereby making it more sensitive to effects of sunlight. Therefore, sunscreens should be used while on treatment with this compound.

Tretinoin can be started at any stage of adulthood. However, its use requires certain precautions. When used properly and adequately, the drug yields results superior to any other agent in the same category.

1. Tretinoin should never be used if you are pregnant or planning to conceive in near future. Talk to your physician frankly about your concerns.
2. Start using Tretinoin after sunset and apply it after a thorough face wash and patting the skin dry (to allow better contact of the agent with skin)
3. The amount to be applied at one sitting should be of the pea-size for full face and slightly more if the neck too is to be covered. Leave the areas very close to the lips and eyes. Rubbing is not necessary.
4. Wait for 20 minutes after the application and then apply a moisturizer.
5. Next morning, one should wash the face and apply a sunscreen as well as moisturizer.
6. As you continue using Tretinoin, you are likely to experience gradually subsiding irritation which means that your skin has started tolerating the medicine. However, in case of persistent irritation, you may reduce the quantity applied while increasing the amount and frequency of moisturizer. In case of severe irritation, discontinue the use for some days, and restart with low dosage and lower duration of application or a combination of any of these measures to suit your skin.
7. The beneficial effects of Tretinoin take a variable time to show up and improvement may be seen as early as four weeks to as long as six months.
a. Waxing should not be carried out on the areas being treated by Tretinoin.

Please remember the following while using Tretinoin

1 That the overall efficacy of Tretinoin depends more upon the continued use even if low doses are used.
2. That Tretinoin works both as a fairness cream and improves radiance.



You are permitted to share, distribute, print, or reproduce this article for private use with proper citation of the source. The article is a part of our service to fellow human beings as a means of health education and awareness enhancement to minimize dependence on healthcare


Dr Vinay Kumar

Senior Consultant Dermatologist



+91-93 199 299 00



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