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(Pic Included) Dark Circles Under Eyes After Starting Retina-A (Tretinoin)

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I started tretinoin (0.025%) two nights ago and woke up with puffy eyes. Not quite "swollen" but a little "puffy". Then this morning I woke up with a dark lines under my eyes, almost like dark circles. When my labmate saw me this morning he immediately asked if I got enough sleep last night which means it is pretty noticeable. (For the record, I did get plenty of sleep). I am not putting the gel anywhere near my eyes but I read that since it is absorbed through the skin it can effect sinuses, tear ducts, etc.

I took the photo a few moments ago and it has improved since I woke up. I suppose if you don't really know me that well it might not be very noticeable, but this is pretty abnormal for me.

I've read all over the place and I can't find any cases of this happening. I can't believe my luck.

Anyways, I left a message with my dermatologists office. I wont use the Tretinoin this weekend and I will take some Benadryl to see if that helps with the symptoms until I hear back from them. sad.png

Has ANYONE experienced this kind of thing?


150 mg Spironolactone - Split into 2 doses per day

Aczone - Morning and Night

0.025% Tretinoin Gel - Night

Cleansers of choice:

Glytone (4.2% Glycolic Acid Gel Cleanser)

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

Neutrogena Stress Control (Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid)

Moisturizers of choice:


Neutrogena Oil-Free SPF 15

Treatments of choice:

Acure Organics Aragn Oil (100% pure and organic)

Betonite Clay + ACV + Tea Tree Oil Masks

Queene Helene Mint Julep Mask

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Hey Shawna-- I do not think it is an allergic reaction (I am not a doctor). When I bumped up from .025% to .05%, after using the .05% a few days in a row, I woke up with my face slightly swollen, as well as my eyes. I could tell when I woke up because my eyes were slightly harder to open (not bad, but i could feel a difference.) And, my face, like cheeks, were puffy as well. I thought it probably had to do with increasing the strength, so I cut back my use to every few days and it pretty much went right away. Hope that helps some. If it continues, however, you should def contact your doctor!

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