Tretinoin gel is a prescription-only treatment that can be used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture, and treat acne. It works by increasing the turnover rate of facial skin cells. This process can cause irritation and redness, so it is important to use the medication as directed by your dermatology provider to minimize side effects. It may take a few weeks before you begin to see results. In addition, you will need to moisturize your skin and protect it from sunlight as you continue treatment.
Retinoin is a form of vitamin A, which helps the skin to renew itself and make it smoother. It also can help reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and mottled skin discoloration. It is available in different potencies, or concentrations. The lowest potency is 0.05%, which may be appropriate for those with extremely sensitive skin or who have never used tretinoin before. The highest potency is 0.15%, which may be appropriate for people with slightly more resistant skin.
There are two types of tretinoin gel: tretinoin microsphere and tretinoin cream. The difference between these two is the consistency of the product. Both have similar ingredients, including tretinoin, glycerin, and carbomer 974P (0.04% formulation) and carbomer 934P (0.1% formulation).
The type of tretinoin gel you need will depend on your specific skin type. If you have oily skin, a gel formula will be more suitable than a cream. The gel will also be less greasy than the cream. However, the tretinoin in either formula can make your skin feel tight and dry. It may also sting or burn on your skin when you first start using it. The irritation will usually fade after a few weeks.
You should apply tretinoin gel once a day, preferably before bed. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water before applying it. Avoid overwashing or excessive scrubbing, which can lead to irritation. When you do apply tretinoin, only use enough to cover the affected area lightly. Using too much can cause “caking” of the gel and will not increase its effectiveness.
It can take several months before you begin to see visible results from tretinoin. However, if you stick with the treatment and follow your dermatology provider’s instructions, most people will experience clearer, healthier-looking skin in this timeframe.
While using tretinoin, you should keep your skin moisturized to avoid drying and itching. You should also stay out of the sun and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen when you do go outside. Tretinoin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is especially important to wear protective clothing and avoid tanning beds and booths while you are using this medication.
If you notice any unusual side effects, contact your doctor immediately. If you are allergic to tretinoin or to any other retinoids, such as isotretinoin or adapalene, or if you have an inflammatory skin disease, you should not use this medication. You should also tell your doctor if you have ever had an open wound on your face or a sunburn. tretinoin gel