Tretinoin/ Retin-A

One of our favorite prescription topical medications is Tretinoin (Retin-A is a name brand version). This is because it is one of the most powerful products in the war against aging skin.

Tretinoin has proven itself to reduce, reverse, and prevent wrinkles. The younger a patient starts using it, the more benefits they receive, but it’s never too late to start using it!  It has the following benefits:

  • Helps lighten and prevent age spots.
  • Builds collagen to thicken and increase the structural strength of treated skin.
  • Helps to decrease a person’s risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Helps skin look more youthful

Tips for Using Tretinoin

  • Always apply it to your skin at bedtime. Never use it during the day.
  • Never layer tretinoin with benzoyl peroxide and ideally don’t apply it when you also have acid products on your skin like vitamin C, glycolic acid or salicylic acid.
  • Always wait at least 15-30 minutes after cleansing and applying any other skin care products to your skin before you apply Tretinoin.
  • When starting Tretinoin therapy, you need to begin with “pearl-sized” portions for the face, neck and chest. It is important to begin using it gradually to allow your skin to adjust. Use it twice a week (every third night) for the first couple of months. During this time, understand that a little scaliness and irritation is normal at first, but if the treated skin becomes really sensitive, back off the Tretinoin for a bit. Let your skin return to normal before you begin the treatment again. As your skin adjusts, slowly try to increase to using it every night.

Tretinoin-treated skin is very exfoliated and should not be waxed for hair removal.

Any doctor or skin care specialist performing a procedure such as a surgery, chemical peel, microdermabrasion, laser or light treatments, etc., needs to know if you are on Tretinoin. Because it could interfere with your other treatments, they may ask you to stop it for a period of time before and after your procedure.

Anyone who is or may be pregnant should not use Tretinoin.

It is critically important for anyone using Tretinoin to take the strongest precautions in the sun. As mentioned above, Tretinoin treated skin is very exfoliated. This means that, if Tretinoin users do not aggressively embrace sun protection, they will have more sun damage on their skin than if they never used Tretinoin. In short, if you use Tretinoin, you should wear a really good sunscreen on your treated skin every day.   At the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, we recommend our mineral zinc oxide sunscreens because we believe they give the best sun protection. Our personal favorites are FaceMD and EltaMD lines of sunblock.

Products we offer containing Tretinoin:

All tretinoin containing creams available in our practice are by prescription only.  This means that you have to be evaluated by one of our physicians in order to receive the product.

  • Tretinoin 0.025%
  • Tretinoin 0.05%
  • Tretinoin 0.1%

If you feel you could benefit from this prescription, please call our offices to schedule your consultation.