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Retin a , friend or foe

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Ok, IM new here and I have a lot of questions. Ok I have been on retin A for around 5 months. I wash face in morning and then put on bp 8%. Then after school retin a. Then wash face before bed Retina A. ANd I also take a antibotic pill. Ok everytime i get out of shower or water, my face is extremely dry, I can barely open my mouth. sad.gif I put lotion on it and it gets very red. I have been going through this for almost 6 months and my docter says stick with it. I wake up 2 hours before school starts, just to get my face to look a little bit less red. Now my questions are, did this happen to anyone else, anything to prevent this, and other ways to get out of this. My social life is getting really bad and its even hard for me to concentrate in school. Please help me. sad.gif

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try applying retin-a only ONCE a day instead of twice in the afternoon/evening! this could definitely be the cause. I also use retin-a and my face gets very dry, not as bad as it used to, but it's normal. Make sure you pat your face dry and don't rub it, and only apply oil-free moisturizer in the places you really need it. Also, to help keep your skin hydrated at all times drink TONS of water, it has helped me!! I really hope things look up for you!

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retin-a twice a day, as well as 8% bp really sounds too harsh. You might want to switch to retin-a just once a day (@ night), and maybe either a lower % of bp, or no bp at all. How is your skin doing? Is it clear?


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You shoudn't be using BP at the same time as Retin A.

Also, the cream is very comedogenic, so hopefully you're using the gel.

Your doc should have also mentioned, that you were to wash your face and wait 20 minutes to lessen irritation. I'm suspecting the BP you're using is OTC, and you didn't mention that you're using it to your doctor...AND Retin A Micro should be used only at night.

Antibiotics and Retin A (Micro I assume) are pretty strong.

For example, Tazorac and mino completely cleared me. You just have to follow directions, or find a doctor that can give them better.

hths, feel free to ask any more questions....good luck!

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[-X...It sounds like you're hurting your face with your medicine more than helping it. I used retin-a micro(didn't like it) and if I put more than just a VERY thin layer all over my face, my skin would turn all red and HURT. Be careful with retin-a...it's powerful stuff. It has vitamin A...and too much of that absorbed into you skin and into your system isn't very good, I don't think. That's why there's so many risks involved with accutane biggrin.gif .

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Yeah, well i have very pale skin, and red face makes me look like crap, and Im not very clear. 6 months on this stuff, and i take tretinoin, generic retina says doctor

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Regarding the post before yours, Retin A Micro doesn't "have vitamin A", it is vitamin A, well...rather a derivative of it. Side effects of Retin A Micro are not as serious as Accutane. You can't "overdose" on Retin A Micro, but if you use it too often, you'll just increase the side effects, you won't gain any benefits, or speed them up. And you will be in pain, and it's gonna burn!

Moving along, As long as you are using BP and Retin A at DIFFERENT times you should be fine, just be sure to put on a thin layer...you can get BP OTC however...

Use Retin A only at night, and make sure you take the antibiotic at the same time each day.

But, on the other hand, you should have VERY clear skin by now, 6 months later...

Was it your family doctor or derm who gave it to you?

I think you should have things re-evaluated since it's been so long.

How long have you been on the antibiotic? What were your directions?

Following the directions is pretty crucial, but anyway, see your doc. 6 months is PLENTLY of time to see if it works, and obviously it doesn't.


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It is my derm, and ive been following the direction perfectly for the whole period. The only thing ive changed, which was in the past 3 weeks was I stopoed using soap when I washed my face, just water. My life sucks

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Awww I'm sorry.

See him again. If you've been following directions well, and etc, then it's time to change the routine.

Try and get an appointment as soon as possible.

You said you washed your face with soap? I hope by soap you meant cleanser, lol...

Anyway good luck, get an appointment soon...The Retin A Micro should have worked a long time ago.

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I'm wondering why he told you to wash with bar soap. That's a pretty bad move. Bar soap would have made my skin 10 times worse when I was on Retin A Micro.

Tazorac and minocycline made my skin perfect, but I followed the directions exactly, I stayed out of the sun, I didn't use any other products besides ones I was supposed to. I didn't overdo anything, I checked ingredients to everything I put on my face before I put it on.

Ask him if he thinks you'd benefit from Tazorac...that's what worked for me after Retin A Micro didn't the second time I used it. (Worked great the first time, but not the second).


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You're very welcome, it's not a problem. I know what it's like!

Don't let this scare you, but Tazorac is the most potent topical retinoid.

Tazorac is Tazarotene,

Retin A Micro is tretinoin (and is also a retinoid)

Both are derivitives of vitamin A.

The side effects of Tazorac are pretty much the same as tretinoin, but can be a little worse depending on how much tazorac is used, what formula, and how you use it. But, I didn't find it was half as bad as Retin A Micro. Retin A irritated the hell out of my skin...

For the first little while, I put it on, and 1 hour later, I washed it off.

After about a month or so, I started leaving it on.

What was weird was, It didn't irritate me like retin a micro did. I didn't get all red and blotchy, and if I did, I cut back on the use, and it went away.

I was still dry.

Cool thing was it faded my red marks within weeks. I had one red mark that stayed for 3 months, and it was gone within a few weeks.

I was on Tazorac 0.1% cream, but keep in mind I was also on minocycline. 100mg's a day.

hths, pm if you have anymore questions or anything.

Good luck! Let us know what happens at the derms tomorrow!

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hi marvel. i was wondering if you were ever able to go off of the minocycline and just use tazorac. and if so, did your skin stay clear? for me, i don't mind being on antibiotics for a little bit to let the topicals take their effect, but i'm worried about being on them forever. plus, i don't want to start taking them and then stop because it seems like everything is working, just to have the acne come back when i stop with the antibiotics. thanks!

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Hi there,

Yes, I was able to successfully go off the mino with next to no problems.

The only thing was, I got a little oily, and sometimes I got red easier than I used to.

Mino works for oil and redness, and I was on it for a little over a year, when my derm said "ok time to ween you off, it's done it's job".

Now I use the Tazorac every night (unless I get too dry and red, which sometimes STILL happens). And my skin is still perfectly clear, (and, my skin is nice enough to go anywhere and not worry about lighting lol...)

I didn't break out when I went off the mino at all, because I had been on Tazorac for a few months already...or maybe I was just lucky...

I loved what the mino did, but I'm glad I'm off of it.

And, Tazorac was SHITTY at first...there was some irritation, and etc...and even though Taz is said to help oil, I didn't think it did. But I was fine 2 weeks later...no biggie...and red marks did fade fast...

Anyway, feel free to ask anything else if I didn't cover it well enough...I have a habit of jumping around, and answering questions that were sometimes never asked lol biggrin.gif

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My experience with Retin-A was AWFUL! I had worse breakouts than before I started on it. What worked best for me for about a year was minocycline, tazorac in the morning, and benzaclin at night. I am now on accutane and thrilled with the results.

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I used to occasionally post here. But since then, I have been completely clear. Your regimen sounds almost exactly like what mine was. My doctor said bp at night (gave me the choice of none, 5% or 10%), retin a micro in the morning, mild soap twice a day (I use Body Shop's vit E Cream Cleanser... very good for dryness) doxycycline (100mg) at night and yasmin birth control pill. After about a week of this, I severely burned my skin when I put sun screen on. Since then, (about 9 months ago) I stoped bp completely. Turns out, bp was the problem because since then my skin has been much better. It cleared up completely and there is minimal dryness. I use Vita K for red marks and as a moisturizer(which, despite everyone's complains about it not being a permanent treatment, it actually does work!!!) So, I recomend you stop bp completely and do retin a micro only once a day (this is what the directions say...). You're probably irritating your face too much and not getting good results because of this. But of course, you should probably talk to your doctor first...

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