Skin Care & Non-Surgical Treatments
In general, Retin-A® is most effective in older patients who have some fine facial wrinkles, or blotchy pigmented areas caused by sun damage. However, Retin-A® is often prescribed to younger, active individuals who want to combat the aging effects of sun exposure. Patients who are planning to have a chemical peel treatment are often instructed by their doctors to use Retin-A® as a preparation treatment; Retin-A® thins the skin’s outer layer, allowing the acid solution used in a peel treatment to penetrate more deeply and evenly. Retin-A® is not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers, because its effects on the fetus and nursing infant are still being studied.
Reactions/side-effects. Although no serious medical problems have been associated with Retin-A®, it’s possible that its use could result in temporary skin irritation and redness. If this happens, your doctor may recommend a milder formulation.
Beginning treatment. Your initial application of Retin-A® will include a lesson on how to continue your skin-care routine at home. After your face has been washed thoroughly, a small amount of Retin-A®, in either cream or gel form, is rubbed over your face and nose.
Only a very small amount of Retin-A® – a pea-sized dab – is needed to cover the entire face. You will be instructed to apply Retin-A® every night before you go to bed. Because Retin-A® is drying to the skin, your doctor may also recommend that you apply a moisturizer once or twice a day. This routine is usually continued for about eight months to a year, after which you’ll be switched to a less-frequent schedule of maintenance, with Retin-A® applications only two or three times per week.