Retin-A is very popular among dermatologists and their patients due to the many ways it benefits the health and appearance of the skin. A form of vitamin A, the medication is absorbed through the skin where it triggers a rapid growth of new skin cells. This has the effect of making the skin look smoother, younger, and more even in color. However, if the medication is not used correctly, patients can suffer some pretty uncomfortable and even unsightly side effects. The following are some expert tips on How to use retin-a properly.
First of all, it’s very important to start with a small dose and increase it gradually. Most people start by using just a single drop of the cream and applying it every three days. For some people, this is too frequent, and they need to drop down to once a week. Over time, the skin becomes accustomed to the product and tolerates it better. Eventually, patients can use it once a day but always in very small amounts. Using too much can make the skin look inflamed and flaky.
The next thing to remember is that the cream should only be used on completely dry skin. It’s a good idea to wait at least 20 minutes after washing the face before applying the medicine. Using the cream on moist skin can cause irritation and redness.
One of the most important rules for using the medication is to avoid the sun because the treated skin is extremely sensitive and can be easily damaged. Always use a sunscreen with a high SPF before going outside, and avoid tanning beds at all costs. Also, use the cream at bedtime only. Not only does a fresh application in the morning make the skin way too sensitive to the sun, the sun actually breaks down the vitamin A, making the medicine much less effective.
Patients who follow these guidelines and still experience irritated skin may need to decrease their dose or add a moisturizer. Ideally, a moisturizer should be applied at least 45 minutes after the medication so the skin will have plenty of time to absorb the medicine before the moisturizer dilutes it.