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An Odd Question: How To Come Off Of Tretinoin?

oily skin retinoids

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#1 Seeking2012

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:33 PM

Hi guys, after over a decade of using Tretinoin topical cream for acne, I wonder if I need to be using it anymore. After starting a low-carbohydrate diet about 3 months ago, I rarely get new zits. I still do have blackheads though, and I'd like to make those stop completely but not sure how.

I'm wondering if I should stop using this medication. If I were to stop using it, what would that do to me? How long would it take for my skin to normalize? What would the new normal be like? Would I have more oily skin than I do now? Would I start breaking out? Would I continue breaking out? It scares me to think about it but in a few years I plan on having children and I'll need to stop it anyway because I just read today that there is a risk that it will cause a fetus to get a birth defect.

How long does tretinoin stay in the body after discontinuing it's use?

Thanks guys.

#2 Michelle Reece

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:29 PM

Hi guys, after over a decade of using Tretinoin topical cream for acne, I wonder if I need to be using it anymore. After starting a low-carbohydrate diet about 3 months ago, I rarely get new zits. I still do have blackheads though, and I'd like to make those stop completely but not sure how.

I'm wondering if I should stop using this medication. If I were to stop using it, what would that do to me? How long would it take for my skin to normalize? What would the new normal be like? Would I have more oily skin than I do now? Would I start breaking out? Would I continue breaking out? It scares me to think about it but in a few years I plan on having children and I'll need to stop it anyway because I just read today that there is a risk that it will cause a fetus to get a birth defect.

How long does tretinoin stay in the body after discontinuing it's use?

Thanks guys.


Topical prescription retinoids, particularly adapalene, is a very good management topical for those with chronic acne. Discontinuing topical retinoids would make the skin go back to normal, as the skin can't produce it on its own.

Topical retinoids aren't really bioavaliable and have a very short "life", like I've responded in the other post. Definitely within a few days there would be no trace of it in your bloodstream.

For your acne to 'flare', it kind of depends how old you are (and other factors). If you're in your 30s+ acne does tend to subside, but when you're pregnant you'll likely see a flare or two. If a flare does happen when you're pregnant/breastfeeding, you can use salicylic acid, glycolic acid, topical antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide.




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