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Retin-A post accutane users

I am really curious if retin-a is at all comparable to accutane in effectiveness. I know there different animals, but i hear people constantly saying retin-a causes months of hell, initial breakout, redness, ect...

Those of you who took accutane as well, did you experience that kind of facial issues as well?

I am asking because accutane and my face went together excellently. Despite some dryness i was pretty clear in a little over a month and i had fairly bad acne. My dermatologist was astonished at how good it worked.

Can i expect the same excellent results with retin-a, did those of you complaining about retin-a breakouts and skin irritation experience that with accutane as well?

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If you're still clear from taking Accutane you shouldn't have much trouble with Retin-a. There's nothing left to purge so there's nothing to break you out (as long as you use the gel and not the cream. The cream is comedogenic). It may still irritate your skin at first if you apply too much too frequently - flaking, redness, burning.

I absolutely love retin-a so my encouragement is biased. :razz:

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A few last questions if anyone can please answer these. I have a few major concerns.

1.Regarding retin-a micro and the sun, how long can i go out in the sun? I was on accutane quite awhile and only got sunburned once while camping at a beach. I am not out in the sun alot, typically on the weekend i might do something with freinds for a couple hours in the sun.

If accutane and the sun were not really an issue, how much should I worry about retin-a micro and the sun? Someone claimed you get burned within 15 minutes?

Can that be true?

2. I keep hearing conflicting reports about people saying reint-a thins the skin, some md's responded online and say it strengthens skin. I am a guy and i have to shave, when i was on accutane the only thing i hated was extremely fragile skin and razor burn, it would cause red areas of razor burn. Does retin-a thin the skin, and for a man would shaving be a bad idea? I have to shave.

3. How much of retin-a is absorbed into your skin. After accutane i was taking vitamina A retinol 5000 iu daily and after a year i felt like i got vitamin A toxicity, i cant imagine much would be absorbed but does anyone have any idea? IS quite a bit absorbed into your skin?

Edited by Onetwo

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1. It can cause sensitivity to the sun on your face, but it's nothing like Accutane induced photosensitivity which effects the entire body. As long as you wear a moisturizer with sunscreen and reapply it as needed you'll be fine. If you don't, then yes, you risk burning.

2. I don't know if it literally thins the skin or makes the skin appear thinner because the cell turnover rate is faster. I do know it encourages callogen formation.

Retin-a can make your skin fragile, but nowhere near as extreme as Accutane. As long as you're not allergic or irritated from applying too much too frequently then shaving should be fine. Picking and squeezing blemishes would not be a good idea though.

3. I've no idea how much gets absorbed into the skin. Using tretinoin topically is only going to effect the skin you apply it to unlike Accutane which is systemic since it's ingested. I've only ever heard of one person having internal issues from using Retin-a and it was from an article on a patient that already had liver issues. Other than that one patient, issues are centralized to the facial skin and eyes (you're not supposed to put retin-a on your eyelids).

Hope some of that info helps and I also hope others come along to give you some answers.

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