Tretinoin is a topical cream that is a retinoid derivative of vitamin A used to treat skin issues like acne and face discolouration. Acute promyelocytic leukaemia can be treated using its oral form in combination with other chemotherapy medications, despite the fact that it is often applied topically to the skin. Tretinoin is more powerful and aggressive than a typical retinol cream, therefore it is only available with a prescription. Let’s examine tretinoin in more detail to see what it accomplishes as well as its side effects, precautions, and medicine interactions.

 Tretinoin Side Effects  

Although tretinoin topical creams are excellent in treating skin discolourations, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars, they can still have side effects, just like any other medication. The following are some of the most typical side effects of tretinoin:

  • Swelling
  • Blistering
  • Crusty skin
  • Dry skin
  • Being more sensitive to sunlight
  • Itching
  • Experience some pain around the treated areas
  • Flaky skin or Peeling
  • Redness
  • Scaling of the skin
  • Skin irritation
  • Skin discolouration
  • Stinging or burning
  • Making acne worse

Following therapy, tretinoin may cause side effects, including skin peeling, to disappear in two to six weeks. The medicine can begin to treat acne, tighten neck skin, remove dark spots, and generally help the skin look younger once it begins to stimulate the production of new collagen. Since tretinoin takes time to take action, it may take three to six months for someone to notice a difference in their sunspots or fine lines.

Usual Side Effects Of Tretinoin

Tretinoin use could result in more serious or enduring side effects. Contact your doctor or dermatologist if any of the above-mentioned side effects of tretinoin turn serious.

Contrary to certain other medicines, the majority of tretinoin’s side effects are skin responses. Normal side effects of topical tretinoin don’t include hair loss, diarrhoea, or weight loss, although it can irritate some people’s skin. Although tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A, it is not stored in the liver and does not result in chronic liver disease, which is frequently linked to consuming too much vitamin A.

Tretinoin can sometimes have side effects that need medical treatment. It is best to get medical treatment as soon as you can if you are using tretinoin and develop eye redness and swelling, extreme swelling or burning of the skin, or blistering.

Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience extreme itching, hives, breathing problems, facial or throat swelling, dizziness, or severe itchiness. You can react negatively to tretinoin. Life-threatening allergic responses are possible.

Erum Ilyas, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Montgomery Dermatology, believes that discontinuing suddenly is totally reasonable and suggested if tretinoin cream side effects are noticed. Depending on how severe the symptoms were before the product was stopped, it could take up to a week for them to go away completely. Using topical hydrocortisone, which is available over-the-counter, twice daily for a week can help this clear up fast by reducing the inflammation and promoting faster healing because, at its worst, it can feel like a chemical burn or sunburn.

Serious Side Effects When Using Tretinoin

Tretinoin has cautions that users should be mindful of, just like with other medications:

  • Use with caution: Tretinoin is generally safe to use, but those with sensitive skin or eczema must proceed with caution as it may harm their skin.
  • Age Limit: Tretinoin is safe for children and adults 12 years of age and older, but it is not yet known whether it is safe for children under the age of 12.
  • Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers: Because it is unknown how tretinoin would affect developing foetuses or breastmilk, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should consult their dermatologist or healthcare practitioner before using the product.
  • Cream Strength: Tretinoin creams, also known by the brand names Retin-A, Avita, Renova, and Atralin, are often offered in strengths of 0.025% tretinoin, 0.05% tretinoin, and 0.1% tretinoin. A cream with a higher percentage may irritate the skin more than one with a lesser concentration. For instance, 0.025% tretinoin cream is frequently applied to treat minor acne, whereas 0.1% tretinoin cream may be used to treat more severe skin issues including wrinkles.

Tretinoin Reaction When Combined With Other Medicine

Avoid combining tretinoin with other medications. A harmful interaction could happen if you use tretinoin together with any of the following medicines:

  • Verteporfin
  • Aminolevulinic acid
  • Aminolevulinic acid topical
  • Porfimer
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Isotretinoin
  • Methoxsalen
  • Methyl aminolevulinate topical
  • Resorcinol
  • Salicylic acid
  • Sulphur topical

Other Hair and Skin Care Products

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), tretinoin should not be used in combination with other acne treatments unless specifically advised to do so by a medical expert. Combining cosmetics can seriously dry out and irritate the skin. The same remains true when combining tretinoin with scented lotions, peels, severe exfoliants, astringents, alcohol-based cleansers, or hair removal products. Moreover, since you won’t know how your skin could respond to new makeup throughout treatment, you might want to avoid using it. Your dermatologist can advise you on which products won’t irritate your skin more.

Using Oral Contraceptives

Oral contraceptives may be affected by tretinoin. Informed your healthcare provider if you use a birth control pill. Pills might not work well while using tretinoin.

How To Prevent The Side effects Of Tretinoin

Following the instructions on the label or in the medication guide is one of the best methods to prevent potential side effects of tretinoin. It is best to follow your doctor’s instructions if they differ from those provided by the manufacturer if you have been prescribed tretinoin by a dermatologist or medical professional.

Guide on Using Tretinoin

The following are some recommendations for using tretinoin products:

  1. Usually, tretinoin is used once daily preferably in the evening.
  2. On clean, dry skin, apply a thin layer of tretinoin to the affected area. After cleansing your skin, you should wait up to 30 minutes before using tretinoin.
  3. Apply a moisturiser to calm the skin and prevent potential dryness after the cream has had time to penetrate into the skin.
  4. It is ineffective to use large doses of tretinoin to treat acne on the skin. As a result, the skin may become incredibly dry, peel, or become extremely red.
  5. Results from tretinoin therapy could take up to six weeks to appear.
  6. Use sunscreen frequently, especially during the summer months. Peeling and other side effects may get worse after being exposed to the sun.

Warning: Tretinoin is designed to penetrate into the skin where it may begin to treat problem areas, thus it should not be applied and then rinsed off. Using tretinoin around the lips or beneath the eyes is dangerous. It’s too harsh for these delicate areas, and if it gets in or close to the eyes, it might seriously irritate the eyes.

How Can I Minimise Tretinoin Reaction?

When they initially begin using tretinoin, some individuals will go through purging. Tretinoin purging occurs when the skin breaks down before improving. Tretinoin speeds up the process of skin cell turnover, which initially results in some breakouts, dryness, and peeling. Over time, these symptoms subside, revealing clearer skin. It may not be possible to completely avoid tretinoin purging, but you may reduce the risk by using quality moisturisers, drinking plenty of water, and wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

How Frequently Should Tretinoin Be Used?

Tretinoin is safe to use every day, but some people may have irritation if they use it regularly. Try taking tretinoin every other day or every few days until your skin gets used to it if you notice that using it daily is irritating your skin. You could always try using less of the lotion each time since using too much tretinoin at once might also irritate your skin.

After applying tretinoin to freshly cleaned skin, then moisturise. After applying tretinoin, using a moisturiser will help to avoid the product’s common side effect of dry skin.

Despite being a strong topical medicine, tretinoin is widely considered safe and effective for long-term use. The majority of people may expect results in four to six weeks, and they will last as long as they continue it. While tretinoin may be able to fade some dark spots and discolourations, it’s also possible for acne to return after stopping the medication. Tretinoin primarily treats acne symptoms. It cannot alter how someone’s skin behaves or treat the root cause of acne. The way each individual reacts to the medication will differ slightly.

When Should I Discontinue Using Tretinoin?

Each individual will require different amounts of tretinoin for various periods of time. Some people will use it for a shorter period of time than others because their skin will clean up more quickly in some cases. For others, using tretinoin for a longer period of time may be necessary to get rid of stubborn skin issues like wrinkles or dark spots. When their skin clears up or if it stops functioning after trying it for a while, most people discontinue using tretinoin. The best person to consult about starting or stopping tretinoin treatment is a dermatologist.

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