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This stuff does work, but I wanted to share this study so that if you decide to take Tretinoin, you'll be making that decision with your eyes wide open regarding the risks. There have been studies done that link these topical retinoids to internal cancers and increased mortality rates.
Here's one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19153339
Granted, the connections still need to be explored in more depth, but given the huge profitability of this product for drug companies, I wouldn't be surprised if they are working hard to prevent further research into the potential hazards of Tretinoin.
Make sure you follow your doctor's instructions. I started using it too much/frequently and it caused a lot of breaking out that resulted eventually in hypertrophic scarring. Make sure to start very gradually. I was traveling when I started and unable to see my dermatologist for a follow-up. I knew that there was a possibility of an initial breakout so when I used it and started seeing more and more cysts I thought that I should just get it over with and keep using it rather than backing off and waiting until I could see my doctor. I have scarring along my jawline as a result.
Used correctly and carefully I think it can be effective for maintaining skin. I don't think it's very helpful in situations where your skin is already angry and inflamed.
Okay let me just say I have been using this product for almost month now and my hyper pigmentation and red marks have faded a little tiny bit. My skin looks better but you will break out some days while using this. I have been having a big problem on my chin. I get huge pimples under the skin and they hurt a lot. I use ice to bring the swelling down. My dermatologist told me to start slow at first and use it 2-3 times a week. I used it 2 times a week for two weeks, then I used it for 3 times a week and now I'm using it mostly every day. He said give it a month until you actually start seeing good results. So far so good just have patience. Btw the acne on my chin isn't from this product it's from hormonal imbalance and I just started birth control because I don't know what else to do.
The major issue of my 20's (now 26) has been the deep cystic acne around my jaw, cheeks, chin which is hormonal in cause more than likely. Almost a year ago, I began using retina-A(.04%) at night, aczone in the AM and PM, and oral spironolactone (worked up to 100mg). I have used both other tx's successfully in the past, however this being my first retina-A experience, I was impressed (and with my stubborn acne, i am NOT easily impressed with meds). I was worried to try this because in the summer I am outdoors at the beach/in sun a large portion of the week, and although I make sure to use quality sunscreen and try to cover/shade my face when possible, I have had some gnarly sunburn that occurred super fast when on other meds in the past, so I proceeded with caution. My face was at its peak worst, so there was no "worse initial break out" however it did take around 1.5 months to start to clear. I could CLEARLY tell it was working because as soon as the zits appeared the healing process began within next day or two, and within that week the zit would be significantly better. Previously, the huge deep zits would take 2/3 WEEKS to heal. Even the remaining darker/red hyper pigmentation would fade WAY faster, which was my other skin woe. My skin became smoother over time as well. I was so impressed....too bad i hadn't discovered this sooner!
only use a pea size or so amount like it says, when I used more, it really dried out my skin and caused those areas to be red and peel. I also realized it was important to use face lotion every morning and night which helped my skin a lot overall... the harsh winter made this occur occasionally as well.
I did not have much of an issue with my face becoming more sensitive to sunlight, just be diligent about reapplying the sunblock every 2 hrs.
I was originally taking the brand name product, but insurance stopped covering this and I went to purchase and it was $500.00 !!!!! wwhhhattt? So ask your doctor or look for RX rebate cards...I just got the generic gel for the first time which was 10-20$...hope nothing changes!
Give it a chance, it took a while to notice any effect, which can be discouraging.
I find it hard to trust online reviews because everyone's skin is different, but when my skin hits a "bad phase" every 2-3 years, the acne comes back with a vengeance and I rarely see any significant results from prescriptions, so I was so happy and impressed with the results from this... GOOD LUCK :)
I started using tretinoin cream about 4 months ago. I had really nice skin throughout all high school and of course when iI'm 18 and a senior, my skin goes crazy when everyone else's is finally starting to get better. I was so embarrassed about how I looked I would miss school because I didn't want anyone to see my face. I felt so disgusting that all my pores were clogged that I would pick the living crap out of anything that even resembled a pimple and make my skin look a million times worse than it already was. So to all of you who have lost self confidence due to acne, I feel your pain and just keep reading. I went to a dermatologist and she prescribed me monodox for my cysts and tretinoin for my surface acne. Within a week my skin was worse than ever. Not only was my face completely covered but it was peeling off and so dry that when I smiled or laughed the skin around my mouth would start to crack and sometimes bleed. My skin is so sensitive so it may not go to this extent for everyone, my brother was on tretinoin too and he didn't even have to apply lotion after and he never got a single skin flake. After about a month I started to notice my skin was getting better, it was still so dry but I could see that my skin wasn't so congested, and it was starting to look really beautiful. I decided to try and find a regimen to help all this dryness. After much experimentation and my skin starting to adjust to the product, my skin is no longer dry. Here's what I do: Shower, wash face with cera ve hydrating cleanser, get out of shower, PAT dry, wait 30 mins (when you just get out of the shower your pores are open and irritated and when you apply the cream right away it will make it more dry), apply evian facial mist (basically just spray water on your face, doing this helps the cream move around more so you can use less product, meaning less dryness. this doesn't make it less effective) wait 10 minutes, apply cera ve moisturizing cream, not lotion. boom. It's been about 4 months now and my skin looks great. I feel confident in myself again, I don't hermit myself in my room, scared to leave the house because of the way my face looks. I still get a few pimples, but it's okay because nothing is going to completely clear your skin. so moral of the story, in order for your skin to look good again, you have to wait for your skin to adjust first. don't just stop something after a week, there's no miracle product that will work over night and have no side effects.
I've been using this product for around 7-8 months now and let me tell you this product is amazing! it treats deep cysts, dries them out, and gets rid of them!! It helps prevents severe forms of acne and works to rid your skin of the spots when you do get them. Although this product is great, however, i had a bad initial breakout and lots of flakiness. Make sure you moisturize!! This was the only product i've found that can combat cystic acne!
I have been using Tretinoin 0.025% for 3 months now. My acne has cleared a lot. In the beginning I experienced the initial breakout so I started taking antibiotics (Bactrim), which helped a lot. I am going to keep taking the antibiotics for a couple more months until I work up to Tretinoin 0.05% and then gradually ween off of them (I hope this keeps the acne from coming back instead of quitting cold turkey!). Has anyone been on both tretinoin and an oral antiobiotic at the same. If so, how did you get off the antibiotic and rely solely on the tretinoin. I'm thinking a BP wash in the morning would help once I am off the antibiotic. Anyways, tretinoin is good but you really have to be patient... so if you're looking for a short term solution (like you need clear skin for an event coming up), I don't recommend it as it will cause you to break out pretty bad initially (and I still have red marks left over from this break out).
I was using this in addition to doxycycline and eventually minocycline. It did seem to help calm my acne down a bit, though it was by no means a cure. I did become very sensitive to sunlight as well. I used it every night for 7 months and I just kept hoping it would clear me up for good. At least it didn't make me worse. Also, a little goes a long way. I only used two tubes in 7 months time.
I told myself that if this treatment worked I would write a review to all of those out there who read nothing but negative reviews on Retin-A. I'm 33 years old, fought with acne since I was in 6th grade... I'm now 7 weeks into my treatment and my skin has never been better (I credit this to patience and my routine which I will outline below)! I did have the initial purging and yes it is hard to go through. Many times I wanted to stop but told myself that if I wanted clear skin I needed to go through the bad to get to the great. The purging started at about week 2 and lasted til week 4 and it was in the form of large cystic bumps all over my forehead. They hurt, they were impossible to cover and worse of all they left red marks....BUT I continued through it. At week 5 I started seeing some improvement and week 6 my skin looked amazing (except the red marks that were left from the initial purging). The BEST resource out there on this treatment is found at a blog called One step closer to a Peaches and Cream Complexion. She does an amazing job at outlining how this treatment works and most importantly what products you can use with it. Retin-A itself is an unstable compound and is very picky what products you use and I firmly believe this is one reason why so many have had negative experiences with it! So please please please look at the above mentioned blog and the review and comments section (she answers readers questions VERY thoroughly) It will completely change you view of acne care! But here is my routine....
Nightly- wash face with Normal to Oily CeraVe foaming face wash. let skin dry 20-30 minutes. Apply a small amount of Retin-A all over face. Let dry for 20 to 30 minutes. Once that is dry I put a thin layer of CeraVe moisturizing lotion on and that's it!
Morning - wash with CeraVe again. I swipe one of those salicylic acid throw away pads all over my face (I use Neutrogena but I am sure any would work). I found these really help to keep the small pimples away that form during the day because of oil, clogged pores, makeup breakouts, ect. then use Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sun Screen over the entire face. Sunscreen is a must when using this product, my face is very sensitive to sunscreens but this particular type works amazing for me and also serves as a moisturizer! Finish with make up and I am good to go for the day! Acne can be heartbreaking at any age and leaves not only physical scars but an emotional one at too...this treatment worked for me and I sincerely hope that it works for you!!!
I started Tretinoin 0.01% gel in November of 2013. I have moderate acne but it's very persistent. I saw some improvement and thought my acne was clearing. But then I started waking up with more inflamed red pimples and whiteheads every day. My skin was super red and peeled so bad. I thought it would go away but never did. I was then upped to 0.025% gel about a month or two ago. Still nothing. Now I'm on week 14, almost 15, with no results. I used it as directed. I washed my face, waited 30 minutes, then applied a pea-sized amount over my face without moisturizer. I applied it every other night until directed and then started applying it every night. Until I can go see the dermatologist, my doctor ordered me to stay on it. Tretinoin has worked for some people but not me. This was one of my last options before getting refereed to a dermatologist, and it failed. The only good things about this was that some areas of my face got smoother and the little blemishes went away quickly.