5 Important Tips on Using Retin-A (tretinoin)

Retin-A (tretinoin) is a great medication for many people. It can help with acne, wrinkles, skin texture, and more.

It’s also a strong medication and it’s important to note that some skin reactions may occur such as:

  • Dry skin
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blisters
  • Peeling

Check out the below tips to make sure you’re using tretinoin so it helps–not hurts–your skin.

  1. A little goes a long way

Use only a pea-sized amount of tretinoin applied in a thin layer across your forehead, cheeks, and chin. Do not apply tretinoin on sunburned skin, cuts, scrapes, eczema, or damaged skin. Also, do not apply it to your eye area, including under your eyes

  1. Avoid the sun

Tretinoin causes a lot of patients to get sunburned more easily so avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. And even if you’re not planning to sunbathe, wear sunscreen after use.  Put on a moisturizing sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher every morning. Also, consider wearing protective clothing and eyewear when you are out. 

  1. Apply at night 

Many versions of tretinoin are best used at bedtime but check with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure you’re taking it at the right time. 

If you are putting on the medication at night, make sure to rinse it off fully in the morning.

  1. Only apply to your face

Do not get tretinoin in your mouth, nose, and eyes because it will burn! If you do get tretinoin in any of these areas, rinse well with water. 

  1. Let it sink in

To help the medication absorb, don’t wash your face for at least 1 hour after putting on tretinoin. Also, try not to use other skincare products or makeup for at least 1 hour after application. This includes things like moisturizer and sunscreen!

Please note that if your skin does react to tretinoin, you may want to stop using this drug for some time or change how much and how often you use it. 

Want to buy tretinoin but your insurance doesn’t cover it? Read more here about how you can still get access.

Dr. Jessica Nouhavandi

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