Tretinoin 0.025 is one of several strengths of a topical gel or cream that treats acne vulgaris. Tretinoin comes in a gel or cream form and is applied to the face in the evening. The brand names for Tretinoin are Retin-A, Atralin, Renova, Avita and Altinac. Tretinoin is available by prescription only.
What it does
Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A that treats acne and skin that has been damaged by exposure to the sun. It essentially irritates the skin and causes the cells to grow and die more rapidly, which reduces the layers of skin cells. This prevents pimples from forming and replaces the skin cells in existing pimples in patients with acne, and also reduces wrinkles and brown spots in skin that has been sun damaged.
How to use
Clean the skin to be treated with soap and water 30 minutes prior to applying tretinoin. Gently rub tretinoin into the affected area and wash your hands immediately. Repeat this once every evening.
Do not combine tretinoin with other acne creams and medications since it may cause excessive skin irritation. You should also avoid using harsh soaps and skin cleansers like astringents and products like waxes and other facial hair removers. Tretinoin already causes skin irritation and a reduction of skin cell layers, so additional skin care products may cause adverse effects on the skin, especially if it is exposed to extreme sunlight.
After application, you may experience some inflammation. There will also be some stinging and burning where it has been applied. Frequent dryness, scaling and redness will also occur, which is why it is to be applied in the evening.
Some tretinoin users will experienced heightened sensitivity to sunlight and are more susceptible to sunburn. Excessive sunlight should be avoided if possible.
These side effects should be mild and tolerable. If these side effects become severe and unbearable, stop tretinoin use and notify your physician immediately.
The discomforts of using tretinoin are temporary, usually subsiding within two to four weeks. The discomfort and irritation will not lessen if you use more of the gel or cream than prescribed; in fact, it may irritate the skin more.
It typically takes six to 12 weeks of usage to see the full benefits of tretinoin, so before you rule out this medication as a solution, remember to be patient before you discontinue the product. You should also continue using the product for the entire six to 12 weeks even if you do see signs of improvement and feel it is no longer necessary.