Retin-A (Tretinoin) is a topical (applied to the skin) form of Vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself. The Retin-A brand of tretinoin is used to treat acne. The Renova brand of tretinoin is used to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and mottled skin discoloration, and to make rough facial skin feel smoother. Tretinoin helps acne by causing the skin’s outer layer to grow more quickly and be replaced with new skin cells, which helps to reduce the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and other acne lesions. It may take up to 2 to 4 weeks to see improvement in your acne and the full effect of the medication may not be seen until 6 to 12 weeks.
We currently have the brand cream from India called Retino-A manufactured by Janssen-Cilag, the brand gel from Canada manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and the generic gel from India called A-Ret. Retin A comes in three different strengths and forms: a micro gel (0.1 %/20 gm, 0.04 %/20 gm, 0.04 %/45 gm), and a cream (0.025 %/20 gm/0.05 %/20 gm). Generic Tretinoin gel comes in strengths of 0.025 %/20 gm, 0.05 %/20 gm, and 0.1 %/20 gm.
The managing side effects are:
• Burning, stinging, warmth, or tingling sensation of the skin lasting for a short time after applying;
• Chapping or slight peeling of the skin;
• Redness of the skin;
• Skin rash;
• Temporary darkening or lightening of the skin;
• Unusual dryness of the skin
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you see these serious side effects:
• Excessively red, swollen, blistered or crusted skin;
• Pain, burning sensation, tenderness, severe irritation, or itchy skin
Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Retin-A can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you have to be out in the sun. Avoid getting Retin-A in your eyes, mouth, and nose, or on your lips. Do not use Retin-A on skin that is sunburned, wind burned, dry, chapped, or irritated. Also avoid using this medication in wounds or on areas of eczema until it is healed. Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation such as harsh soaps, shampoos, skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime. Your skin may be more sensitive to weather extremes such as cold and wind while using this medicine. There are drugs that can interact with Retin-A, which can make your skin more sensitive to natural and artificial sunlight such as:
• A diuretic (water pill);
• A sulfa drug such as Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim, and others;
• An antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), ofloxacin (Floxin), and others;
• Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), prochlorperazine (Compazine), fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin),
promethazine (Phenergan, Promethegan), perphenazine (Trilafon), and others;
• Tetracycline (Sumycin, Panmycin, Robitet), minocycline (Minocin), doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin);
demeclocycline (Declomycin), and others.
Inform your doctor if you are using any of the above drugs before you use Retin-A.
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