Tretinoin is one of the oldest and most popular acne therapies on the market today.
But, what makes Tretinoin a classic first-line therapy for everyday acne?
In this article we will cover the basics, benefits, and what to expect from your Tretinoin acne therapy.
Tretinoin is a naturally occurring derivative of Vitamin A.
You may see Tretinoin referred to as all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA).
Tretinoin is the active ingredient in a cream or gel form under the brand names Retin-a, Altreno, Atralin, Avita, Refissa, and Renova.
Tretinoin may also be found in combination products, or from a compounding pharmacy with a prescription.
Tretinoin works for acne in a lot of different ways:
Increases the speed of healthy cell turnover
Leads to the drainage and clearance of excess sebum (face oils)
Prevents clogging of pores by clearing dead skin cells and debris
Lessens the appearance of acne scarring
Acne treatments are generally classified as being comedolytic (able to clean out blackheads and whiteheads), or anti-inflammatory (able to reduce redness and inflammation.)
Tretinoin is a potent acne-fighting ingredient because it is comedolytic and anti-inflammatory.
Apply a light amount of the formulation to clean, dry skin at nighttime.
Excess water on the skin may increase the risk of irritation, so wait 20-30 minutes after washing your face to ensure it is fully dry.
Wash hands after application.
Wear sun protection and keep skin moisturized during Tretinoin therapy.
Do not get the product in your eyes, mouth, or open wounds. Wash with water thoroughly if this occurs.
In the first weeks of treatment, you may experience an initial irritation with these products.
These effects are common and will normally lessen over the first 2-3 weeks.
Common side effects may include:
Burning, itching, peeling, redness, or dryness.
After the first few days and weeks of using Tretinoin, you may experience an initial irritation. This is a sign that the chemical is working.
The full effects of Tretinoin therapy take time, but you should be able to see acne improvement after 12 weeks of therapy.
Depending on your case, your doctor may decide to keep you on Tretinoin long term for continued acne protection.\
Depending on what you are dealing with, you may use Tretinoin for just a few month period to clear an outbreak, or your doctor may recommend that you use tretinoin long-term for prevention of future outbreaks.
Long-term use of tretinoin to prevent future acne breakouts is considered suitable for maintaining clear skin without the risk of bacterial resistance.
Bottom Line: Both short-term or long-term Tretinoin treatments can be appropriate depending on the situation and your doctor’s opinion.
Tretinoin is a prescription-only medication, and cannot be found over the counter.
You will need to schedule an appointment with your local doctor or have an Online Consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors to see if Tretinoin therapy is right for you.
If these medications are a good fit for you, we can ship your prescription formula directly and discreetly to your front door.
Tretinoin is a derivative of Vitamin A. Tretinoin works by increasing cell turnover, clearing clogged pores, reducing oil production, reducing inflammation, and lessening the appearance of acne scars. Tretinoin is normally applied once daily at night. Wear sunscreen daily while using Tretinoin.
Many will experience initial side effects including redness, itching, burning, peeling, and dryness. The initial side effects should lessen after the first 2-3 weeks of treatment. You should begin seeing benefits within 12 weeks of treatment.
Tretinoin can be used for a short-term or long-term therapy for acne clearing and maintenance. Tretinoin is a prescription-only medication, so you must conduct a consultation with a doctor in person or online to be prescribed this medication.