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I have been using tretinoin for almost 6 weeks now. I noticed that my skin got worst first and I developed acne in places I didn't before. Now it is starting to become better. However, I noticed that I am getting red marks and hyperpigmentation after the acne, and if I use make up it just accentuates them even more and makes my face look blotchy like I have brownish spots from the powder. I told my doctor about this and he said that Asian skin tend to get this type of pigment when using tretinoin. He said it will go away in 6 months. :(

Anyone else experienced this with tretinoin? and any advice on how to help the pigmentation? Should I get a microdermabrasion done? I am afraid of chemical peels because I had a bad reaction before from gycolic peels.

What type of make up should I use to cover up because I don't think my make up is working for me. Help!

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hey,

had exactly the same skin reaction. i was using a tretinoin gel at night, and at first it got me worse, and then i got rid of the acne, but there s lots of hyperpigmentation left and red marks, that I didnt have before.

the thing is that i stopped using it after 4 weeks, which might have been stupid. i was scared with all those red marks n scars i got, and also the fact that i cant avoid the sun where i live, and sun+tretinoin gel = not good! so, r u sure those red marks n scars will eventually go? do i have to continue using this gel in order for them to do so? i m confused. sometimes i think it was stupid of me to stop this treatement after only 4 weeks.

as for microdermabrasion, I have read at a skin institute site that u r supposed to wait a year after u ve had a tretinoin treatement cause u risk to do more damage to your skin than good.

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Well, my doctor told me to stick with it for two months, so I am doing that. He said the pigmentation is not because of tretinoin but because my skin is Asian and it will leave that kind of pigmentation after acne. He said tretinoin is actually going to help me with the red marks in the long run. He actually suggested microdermabrasion and possibly laser to get rid of the marks after two months. I can't afford laser, so not doing that. So he told me about 6 months to naturally get rid of the marks.

Since you discontinued the tretinoin, what are you using for your face and the red marks?

Thanks!

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ew that's the stupidiest thing. So because your skin is Asian you HAVE to get hyperpigmentation? that sucks. The doctor gave me some lame excuse saying my scars will never go away because I can't do any form of treatment for them since I have asian skin yup I guess it's true then sucks I guess. I want to get rid of the damn hyperpigmentation too!

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Anyone else experienced this with tretinoin? and any advice on how to help the pigmentation? Should I get a microdermabrasion done? I am afraid of chemical peels because I had a bad reaction before from gycolic peels.

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http://www.ijdvl.com/article.asp?issn=0378...0;aulast=Grover

Says GA peels work for Indian skin, although to a slightly less degree than white skin.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/p512543873206v82/

This study says GA peels work for everyone but medium to medium-deep peels might be a bit too risky. This covers everyone from Asians to blacks.

Seriously some of you guys have Asian skin phobia. I'm Asian too...but are you guys Filipino or Thai or one of the darker-skinned Asians? I'm Korean, and if I don't tan, my skin is decently pale, so I don't see why regular treatments wouldn't work for me. It's just when I tan a lot, I tend to look a little Mexican.

I'm sure a lot of people on these boards are tired of "But will this work for ASIAN skin?" unless there's actual proof that GA stuff doesn't work for Asians. Is there?

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Oh and Retin-A didn't do too much for red marks for me. Also it seemed to just stop working a month or two ago, so I had to switch to BP and had the worst breakout I've had in 2 years or so.

I'd look into other ways to fade the red marks like peels or GA products. Or those homemade remedies...drinking lots of green tea + lemon works for me to prevent breakouts anyway...so I do believe that some of these homemade things could work.

And I had microdermabrasion once, while I was on Retin-A, I think. It didn't do much except make my skin feel soft. But I think you're supposed to get it a few times to see results.

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http://www.ijdvl.com/article.asp?issn=0378...0;aulast=Grover

Says GA peels work for Indian skin, although to a slightly less degree than white skin.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/p512543873206v82/

This study says GA peels work for everyone but medium to medium-deep peels might be a bit too risky. This covers everyone from Asians to blacks.

Seriously some of you guys have Asian skin phobia. I'm Asian too...but are you guys Filipino or Thai or one of the darker-skinned Asians? I'm Korean, and if I don't tan, my skin is decently pale, so I don't see why regular treatments wouldn't work for me. It's just when I tan a lot, I tend to look a little Mexican.

I'm sure a lot of people on these boards are tired of "But will this work for ASIAN skin?" unless there's actual proof that GA stuff doesn't work for Asians. Is there?

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Glycolic IS superficial, so it's safe for everyone.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=i...G=Google+Search

Both studies I posted said that superficial peels are fine for, by and large, everyone. They only said bad things about MEDIUM peels. Those are TCA, Jessner, etc.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=m...amp;btnG=Search

Do note that I said nothing about glycolic peels not working for Asian skin. What I said was that it's too harsh and that other superficial peels might be safer.

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So I heard from several angles that tretinoin does not really help with red marks even though it claims to be good for red marks? I am so confused because I think I got more red marks while on this thing. ugh..

I asked my doctor again about the marks and this is what he said to me in his e-mail: "The brown pigmentation is called post inflammation hyperpigmentation which is very common in asian skin after acne and oral tetracycline antibiotic, it is not related to the topical treatment."

I never took any oral antibiotics, so I wonder why I am having more pigments than before when I had acne in the past. I concluded that it's probably the effect of the tretinoin.

Anyways, as for the GA peel debate. I had one done 4 years ago with my friend at a spa and at the time I had no acne, so my skin peeled for a week, but it came back looking really soft and nice.

I tried again at home recently and I also used some face cream with AHA, and I just had an adverse effect, which was that it made my face feel a bit itchy, red and broke out more and more and it took a while for the acne to subside. Actually the acne on my forehead is still there after two weeks when I had minimal activity there before the GA.

I guess I will try the natural homemade stuff now. I want to use lemon on my face but I heard that it doesn't go well with Retin-A. Is this true?

Thanks for the comments.

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Yeah, I don't think you're supposed to use any AHA products immediately after using a GA peel, so maybe that was it. Since it improved your skin once before, I doubt that it was the peel.

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blackdog,

First of all, this has turned into a stupid argument while this website is not meant for that. I'm all for finding an effective cure for red marks, especially if it's specifically for Asian skin. Secondly, I was only trying to help Lostintranslation in the beginning and might have taken offense when you replied so harshly to my comment. Thirdly, I'm all for learning new things, so I'm admitting that you're right about glycolic peel being a superficial peel. I also have used the wrong term 'never' when I should've used the term 'use caution'.

I have a good reason for not recommending glycolic peel for Asian skin. From what I have read, glycolic peels carry with it greater risks for darker skins compared to other peels. So, unless it's done by a professional or unless the user is very very experienced and very very careful with home peels, it is not to be advised. Lactic acid and salicylic acid are safer choices in this case. This is why I recommended them to Lostintranslation.

I have read very briefly the articles from the links you posted, and yes, like I said earlier, I agree that glycolic peels are safe under supervision. Home peels however might be different. I have this quote from http://www.homepeels.com/newsletter.html

darker skin types should avoid glycolic acid in concentrations higher than 15%, due to the risk of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation will occur in darker skin if it becomes irritated or inflamed, so watch your skin carefully. Those with an Asian, Latin, Island, Eastern European, or Middle Eastern background should be especially careful and avoid irritating products.

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Lostintranslation,

Sorry for hijacking your thread and filling it with argument instead of helpful suggestions :rolleyes:

I think you should stick to the tretinoin if that's what your doctor prescribes. It is only for two months after all. However, I do think he's dismissing really easily what you told him about it causing more red marks. I think people react to drugs differently and there is definitely a possibility that tretinoin does cause red marks for you. Other than the red marks, what other effects does it have on your skin, for example on acne or the overall tone?

You might want to try AHAs and BHAs in low concentrations. Some that have great reviews on this site are Paula's Choice 2% BHA and Alpha Hydrox 12% AHA. Daily use of mild exfoliants help some people's acne marks. But do remember to wear sunblock of at least SPF15.

Some home remedies you could try are apple cider vinegar and aspirin mask. With ACV, you dilute it with water and use it as a toner. It might be irritating at first so use a ratio of 1 ACV:3 water first then gradually make it 1ACV:1water. With aspirin mask, you just add a little bit of water to uncoated aspirin pills to make a paste, then smear it on your face, let dry, and wash off. These 2 home remedies have better reviews on this site than lemon (it's irritating for some). But lemons are apparently good when you mix a little of the juice in water and drink it. I don't know how these would work with Retin-A, though.

Do a forum search and you'll find more info about these possible remedies. I think there is at least one long thread about each of them.

Do start slowly and gently. See how your skin reacts first. If it's not irritated, you could amp it up a little bit. You might want to ask your doctor whether they're safe to use with tretinoin. And if you really think tretinoin is doing more damage than good, then have a good talk with your doctor. You're paying him for his service, dammit! :lol:

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Dea,

Agreed.

Lostintranslation,

Retin-A Micro didn't do anything for redmarks for me except just prevent breakouts. Still, I would definitely try something else for redmarks and not rely on the Retin-A alone...lots of natural remedies are discussed here and they all seem to work for some people, an aspirin mask sounds promising. And then you have your AHA and BHA products that are milder than peels.

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Guys, I would really refrain from doing anything too harsh when on retinoids. Take it easy, because you might end up scarring your skin which is 10 times worse.

I tried ACV and it burned my skin. I wouldn't recommend doing it when on Retin-A, which is one of the harsher retinoids out there. And don't do acid peels until at least a month after you stop Retin-A. The last thing you would want to do is scar your skin and make it permanent.

How I cope when I'm on retinoids is that I'm eating all sorts of stuff that may improve my skin. At the very least, it fees like I'm doing something. I'm liking the green tea +lemon, eating blue berries, taking fish oil pills, zinc, multivitamin, eating lots of tomatoes, etc.

Before I would try anything, I would ask on the retinoid subforum or pm LionQueen or LabGirl and say that your also Asian. Also, ask your derm as well.

Retinoids take a lot of time before you see any effects.

With ACV, I was doing it on a 1:4 ratio with water.

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Everyone,

Thanks for the fine inputs. Really helped me a lot.

Yeah, I agree. Retin-A is so fickle because after using it for 5-6 weeks, I noticed I am breaking out less and less, and my skin feels smooth, but it's hard to see the difference when my face is covered with red marks or blotchy brown pigmentation. I read somewhere on the Retin-A review that another person had the same experience and it actually can look like dark spots. I can't figure what else caused all of this besides the Retin-A.

I want to stop using it but I am afraid I will get more pimples if I stop midway. I was in Hong Kong for a while and that's where I started breaking out and went to a dermatologist there. Now I am back in the states and that doctor stopped replying to my e-mails b/c I am not his patient anymore. Ughh so irresponsible. So I am searching for another doctor here.

With the Retin-A, I am also using Neostrata cleanser and moistrurizer that the doctor prescribed and both have PHA, which I think is gentler than AHA. He didn't warn me anything against peels or microdermabrasion, but I am so desperate now to get rid of the marks. I am using the egg white and honey mask nowadays.

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I was told to avoid chemical peels while on retinoids.

Did you ask your derm about chemical peels? Sometimes derms just don't really care about your acne.

I saw 4 different derms before I finally settled on my fifth derm. The first 4 just didn't give a shit. The fifth one actually has his business focuses on skin care so its his job to care, while the other derms I feel felt that taking care of acne was below their level of profession.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Info-abou...out-t98395.html

Did you read that thread yet? Retin-A tends to plump out your scars and make your face more red thus accenting your marks making it look worse while your on it. In the long run, it should help your skin.

However, there are lots of other ways to get rid of acne. You don't need Retin-A. You could use BP for your acne and use other products to get rid of your marks. Lemon juice in egg white, ACV, Kojic acid, hydroquinone, etc. Not all at once of course.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php...&hl=finacea

There are some ppl talking about finacea. I talked to my derm about this, who is pretty straight with me, and he said Retin-A was better and cheaper. Though you might wanna read the thread.

I know your probably stressed about this. I was like this when I first found this forum. I wanted to try out every method available, but your just going to end up making your skin worse if you switch from product to product. I noticed the skin on my body is much much better than that of my face, and I think partly the reason why is that I never aggravated it and just washed it with soap. Unlike my face, where I tried so many different regimens.

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With all the bickering and arguing, I didn't bother reading the last few posts. Anyway, here's my 2 cents:

I read in a book written by a dermtologist that Asian and African skin will show scarring (whether from acne or other causes) more obviously and longer than on other skin types. From personal experinece, I find this to be true.

I used tretinion quite years ago and it did help somewhat with the breakouts, but I found continued use to be much too harsh. However, the resulting peeling does help to gradually remove dark marks from acne. I don't remember tretinion having a positive effect on the red marks.

My skin is light, so I've had success with 30%, 50% and 60% glycolic acid peels. I did break out somewhat during the initial peels, but that's what peels do...bring the impurities to the surface so the skin can get purge them out of the system. Subsequent peels helped to clear up dark acne scars. I don't recall the red marks being helped initially by glycolic peels, but subsequent peels may have helped a little.

For those concerned about hyperpigmentation or dark acne scars, there's the ingredient hydroquinone. It can fade dark discolorations (also dark acne scars) with continued use and sun protection. I use Serious Skin Care Fading Fluid. Also check out Paula's Choice fading products.

For those who find hydroquinone too harsh, there's Aloette Lumitone PC Pigment Correcting Spot Treatment and Lumitone HP Pro Brightening Serum . Together, using natural ingredients and extracts, they will help with hyperpigmentation and dark scars. It takes time, but I find that they do work.

For red marks, there's Aloette Redness Reduction Calming Creme . They said on the local shopping channel that this works on acne scars and rosacea. I can't comment on this product as I haven't used it.

Currently I also use Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 once every few weeks for aggresive exfoliation. The peeling really helps remove superficial dark acne marks and I haven't experienced any hyperpigmentation. The key is to let the peeling occur naturally; don't aggresively rub or peel the skin off otherwise it can lead to scarring and further discoloration.

Bottom line: I think an aggresive exfoliatiing product will help with dark acne marks, but won't do much for red marks. And if hyperpigmentation is a concern, use one of the alternative products I mentioned, above (they work slowly, but they do work).

Good luck all.

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Once again, Thank you for all the suggestions and advice.

I did check that retinoid thread and it is helpful.

I guess now looking at my face I don't have so many red marks, but mostly slight pigmentation and brown marks left from the acne, especially on my cheek. I heard a couple of people suggesting Hydroquanine? That is like a whitening agent, right? Is 2% enough to get rid of marks or should I up it to 4% by getting a prescription from a doctor? Has anyone seen good and quick progress using this product?

I just remember a year ago, I was in Asia and someone suggested this whitening cream to get rid of marks, and seriously within a week, my marks faded. But now thinking about it, I realized the cream probably had some mercury content and thats why it worked so quickly. But it is not good for you in the long run. Thank goodness, I only used it for less than a month.

From my experience, the facialist and doctors in Asia give you creams in little tubes with no instructions or listing of ingredients, so you never know exactly what you are putting on your face. But, having said this, the downtime of seeing improvement in using those products are so quick, and within a month, my acne is usually gone and face is smooth again. I guess that's why I am getting frustrated that Retin-A is taking so long. :(

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I take hydroquinone 4%. My derm gave it as a compound along with Retin-A and Kojic acid 4%.

I think it works well in conjunction with Retin-A.

I think 2% is too small. With 4%, it takes at the very least a month before you can see results.

There was an Asian girl a long long time ago that did 8% and said some of her marks faded in like 2 weeks. Hydroquinone spreads though, and may give your face a different shade from your neck. Its not really noticeable imo.

Hydroquinone is irritating against your skin though and may cause acne. Also may increase the redness of your skin...it did for me, which may accent your red marks while your taking it. Also, theres some debate about whether its carcinogenic. Its banned in the European Union, Japan, and Australia. Tests have shown no proof that its carcinogenic to humans, but there have been tests showing that its carcinogenic to rats.

IMO it seems like everything is carcinogenic now. Just don't take it for a long time to be on the safe side.

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It isn't banned in Australia. Its available as an OTC product and by prescription, I've got some myself (hydroquinone 4%, tretinoin 0.025%, kogic acid 2% and corticosteroid 1% = Kligmans formula).

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i'm asian too and got real bad burn from a face wash containing 2% GA!!!

so bad that i got purple scars all over my cheek. i'm not talking bout 20%, 2 FREKIN'

PERCENT!!!!

it's got something to do with the race but not entirely.

everyone got different skin balance. :wall:

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