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Sudden Irritation /w Retin A

so I recently switched from the generic Retin-A cream to the gel, after I found out the cream is comedogenic. I'd been on the cream for 4 months with no noticeable improvement in my skin. I started the gel about 5 days ago.

The first thing I noticed about the gel is that just opening it makes my eyes water, and it stings when i apply it to my skin. I apply it very thinly, just like with the cream, then moisturize after it dries /w jojoba, pure aloe and some hyaluronic acid.

Anyway last night after I applied the gel the stinging was particularly bad, and my skin became unbearably itchy. I normally have pretty good self control but this was so bad I couldn't help scratching it a little bit... a mistake I know. After which i fell asleep.

This morning, my skin is still incredibly irritated, blotchy, red and dry- almost like I have a rash- where I applied my Retin-A and where it itched the worse. I have no idea what to do about this or why the gel so irritating. I think the alcohol in the gel might be irritating my skin badly, but if I can't use the gel or the cream should I just give up on Retin-A altogether?

Also, does anyone have ideas for how to get the irritation in my skin down? Right now it's really bad. I applied a little bit more aloe vera gel but I don't know what else to do. If anyone has ideas for something i can either take internally or apply topically that would be great. And please let me know your opinion on what I can do about the gel. Thanks :(

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ahhh I know what you're going through! My skin was unbearably itchy and irritated for about 3/4 months when I first started using the medication too. I never really found a solution for it... I just had to stick it out until my skin got used to it. The best thing to help lessen the irritation would be to use the medication less often. I used it once every three days for about a month (I have really sensitive skin). I stopped using it after 4.5 months (before switching to Differin), but even after using it that long, I still couldn't use it every night. Plus, the gel is supposed to be more drying/irritating than the cream, which provides more moisture for your skin (which I assume lessens the side effects a little bit?). You're going to have to ease into it. On the plus side, I hear most of the people that switch from the cream to the gel are usually happier with the results!

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