Tretinoin is a mainstay of acne treatment because it helps to unclog pores, reduce oil production & prevents skin bacteria from growing. It also can help reduce fine lines & improve facial skin tone.
It may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so use sunscreen and avoid sunlamps if possible. You might experience dryness or redness, but these symptoms usually fade with time & as you continue to use the medication.
What is Tretinoin?
Tretinoin is a powerful, prescription-strength topical medication that’s used to treat acne, hyperpigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a member of the family of medications called retinoids, which are all derived from Vitamin A.
It works by promoting skin cell turnover, which helps unclog pores and reduce excess oil production. It also increases collagen production, which makes the skin smoother and less wrinkly.
It’s important to use this medication as directed by your doctor. It may take a few weeks before you see results. It’s also not recommended to use this medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The retinoids in this medicine can pass through breast milk and cause birth defects.
How do I use Tretinoin?
Tretinoin is a powerful topical treatment that requires patience & consistency to see results. Generally, you will begin to see an improvement in your acne & hyperpigmentation within 6-8 weeks.
Tretinoin treats sun-damaged skin by inhibiting the breakdown of collagen & cell protein in the skin (Guan, 2021). It can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles & discoloration in the skin caused by aging & sun exposure.
It is important to use this medication in combination with a proper skin care regimen including sunscreen & a wide-brimmed hat. This is because retinoids make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, so you must be careful in the sun.
Do I need a prescription for Tretinoin?
You cannot purchase Tretinoin over the counter as it is a prescription-only skincare ingredient. However, that doesn’t mean you have to visit your dermatologist to get a prescription for it!
Thankfully, you can now get a tretinoin prescription online and have it delivered right to your doorstep. Felix offers this service by letting you connect with a licensed healthcare practitioner through an online chat.
This professional will review your skin, prescribe the exact strength of tretinoin you need, and then deliver it straight to your door. They will also advise on how long you should use it for, and what other precautions you need to take, such as sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.
How long will Tretinoin take to work?
The time it takes for Tretinoin to begin to improve acne will vary from person to person. You will likely see some improvement within the first few weeks of use but it can take 6 or more weeks before you experience significant improvements.
In the first 2-4 weeks, your skin is undergoing a lot of changes; dry rough skin cells are being shed, oil glands are shrinking & collagen production is being remodeled. This is all normal & it will resolve with continued use.
It is important to wear sunscreen every day while using tretinoin because it makes your skin more sensitive to sun damage. Be sure to use a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher & apply often.
What are the side effects of Tretinoin?
Tretinoin is a powerful prescription medication that can cause side effects. These are generally mild and temporary, such as dryness, sensitivity or irritation.
Other side effects can include pain in the tummy (abdomen), bones and chest. If you experience any of these, speak to your doctor immediately.
It’s important to use two acceptable forms of birth control while using tretinoin. This includes if you have had a hysterectomy or have gone through menopause. It’s also important to wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) when going outdoors, even on cloudy days. This medication can make you sunburn more easily.
How should I store Tretinoin?
Tretinoin products do expire, but they can last a few years past the expiration date if they are stored properly. When tretinoin is exposed to air for long periods of time, it can oxidize and become less effective. Other factors that can affect the shelf life of tretinoin include storage temperature, container type, and manufacturing process.
You can tell if your tretinoin has gone bad by looking for signs of discoloration, product separation, uncharacteristic clumps or changes in texture. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to discard the product and get a new tube. Using expired tretinoin can be harmful to your skin. Tretinoin 0.1% cream