Generic Name(s): Tretinoin
Drug Class: Retinoid
Treats: Acne, Acute promyelocytic leukemia
Retin-A is used to treat a chronic skin condition called acne. A patient suffering from acne may have blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, greasy skin, and scars in the skin. Retin-A contains Retin-Aoic acid and vitamin A which works by affecting the growth of skin cells. Many cases of acne are thought to be a result of genetic complications. Acne may also be as a result of an increase in androgens production when a patient is in puberty.
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Retin-A is a topical drug that is intended for treating acne. Retin-A may reduce the severity and the number of acne pimples. It also promotes the speedy healing of pimples. The mechanism of action of Retin-A is by increasing the turnover of skin cells, thereby promoting the elimination of materials that are plugged in the follicles. This helps the skin cells to regenerate itself.
Retin-A also works by hindering the development of new comedones. Retin-A can also decrease the appearance of rough skin and fine wrinkles. Being a vitamin A derivative, Retin-A is the best treatment option for blackheads, whiteheads and comedonal acne. Retin-A is also used for handling hair loss and reducing stretch marks by elevating collagen production. Retin-A is also indicated for treating acute promyelocytic leukemia, which is also referred to as acute myeloid leukemia subtype M3.
- Fine skin of wrinkles
- Acute promyelocytic leukemia
The proposed dose for Retin-A will depend on the clinical condition being treated and the severity of the medical condition. It is essential for patients to adhere to the directions specified by your doctor.
- A small amount of Retin-A is applied on the affected areas every night.
This should be done after washing the skin. This drug should not be applied to the eyes, mucous membranes or lips. You should not apply retin-A on wet skin as it can lead to irritation. It is best to wait for about 20 minutes after cleaning your body in order to apply the cream, gel or liquid. Avoid washing the treated area for approximately 1 hour after application of the topical tretinoin. Avoid excessive application of the gel as it will cause pilling of the drug. Application can also trigger a temporary feeling of slight stinging or warmth. You should also avoid mixing the drug with other oils or creams.
Retin-A Side Effects
Most people will experience side effects when using most medicines. However, most of these negative effects will wear off after a few days as the body becomes accustomed to the drug. Some of the side effects of Retin-A are:
- Skin redness
- Mild burning
- Increase in the acne sores
Make sure that you alert your general practitioner if you experience:
- Severe burning
- Severe swelling of the skin
- Eye watering and redness
- Eyelid swelling
- Skin discoloration
- Difficulty breathing
Most drugs tend to chemically interact with each other when administered at the same time. Therefore, it is advisable for individuals to know drugs that can interact with Retin-A. This will enable them to avoid any possible interactions by altering the dose or changing the drugs they are using. Retin-A can interact with:
- Skin products that have sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or resorcinol causing serious skin irritation.
- Hair perming solutions
- Lime, menthol or alcohol-containing products like shaving lotions, toners or astringents
- Abrasive or medicated soaps or cleansers
- Products that contain alpha hydroxy acid
- Products having glycolic acid
- Cosmetics and soaps with strong drying effects.
- Medications that enhance sensitivity of the skin to sunlight such as fluoroquinolones and thiazide water pills like hydrochlorothiazide.
- Sulfa drugs, for instance, phenothiazines or sulfamethoxazole.Benzoyl peroxide