When it comes to acne, there are several treatment options your dermatologist might recommend. Depending on your specific skin type and the severity of your acne, you could benefit from oral medication, topical treatments, laser treatments, hormone regulating medicine, and even chemical peels. One treatment option, however, can give you a little more bang for your buck: Retin-A.
Retin-A, a type of retinoid, is the most effective form of vitamin A. It’s FDA-approved for the topical treatment of photoaging because it can directly penetrate skin to stimulate collagen production as well as increase
cell turnover. Retin-A (aka retinoic acid or tretinoin) was initially designed to treat acne, which it does, but it also has proven to be an effective treatment option for reversing sun damage, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improving skin tone, pigmentation, and enlarged pores. Bonus.
How to Use Retin-A
The most effective forms of vitamin A need to come from your dermatologist. Depending on the severity of your acne, you might be prescribed dosage strengths ranging from .01% to .25% in the form of a cream, gel, or liquid.
Make this part of your nightly routine. Cleanse your skin and allow it to dry. Then, apply a pea-sized amount, dabbing it on your cheeks, forehead, and chin, and then spreading evenly across your face. Make sure to moisturize after application to avoid dryness, which is common. You’ll also want to make sure to ask your dermatologist about whether your other products might cause side effects.
In the morning, apply sunscreen and vitamin C to practice smart preventative care. Just remember to avoid applying vitamin A and C products together. This can cause some irritation. By creating a morning and evening skincare routine, you’ll ensure healthy and blemish-free skin.
When to Expect Results
It’s important to note that Retin-A isn’t an instant cure-all. Patients typically see their first results four to six weeks after starting treatment, some even a few months later. Many people stop using it too soon, assuming it’s not working. But, follow your dermatologist’s recommendations, and don’t quit too soon. Results with Retin-A only get better with time.
If you struggle with acne or have questions about Retin-A, request an appointment with The Derm Group online or by calling 973.571.2121.