May 27, 2021

A Guide to Tretinoin

Acne vulgaris is a very common ailment that plagues people throughout the U.S. especially amongst adolescents and young adults. In fact, according to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, approximately 85% of young adults between the ages of  12 and 25 years old are affected by acne vulgaris in the U.S. Depending on its severity, acne breakouts can be not only painful to deal with, but emotionally very difficult to manage as well. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with acne, the prescription medication Tretinoin may be able to help. Use the below information as a guide offering everything you need to know about Tretinoin, to help you determine if it is the right medication for you.

What is Tretinoin? 

Tretinoin, a derivative of Vitamin A, and the generic form of the acne medication Retin-A is a topical medication commonly used to treat acne. Other brand names of Tretinoin include Altreno, Atralin, Avita, Refissa and Renova. As a topical medication, it can be used both short-term and long-term to help heal active breakouts and more severe forms of acne such as cystic acne. Its properties also help with anti-aging, helping improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. By helping with cell turnover, it can also help improve the appearance of acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. 

How Does Tretinoin Work to Treat Acne?  

As a retinoid and a form of Vitamin A, Tretinoin helps regenerate the skin through enhancing cell turnover, helping heal breakouts and allowing new skin cells to emerge to the surface. By accelerating cell turnover and renewal, Tretinoin also helps prevent new acne breakouts from forming. Tretinoin helps keep the pores clear and open, by preventing them from getting blocked by dirt and bacteria that can potentially lead to acne.

In addition to promoting skin turnover, Tretinoin helps regulate the production of natural oil in the skin known as sebum which can help ward off future breakouts. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also play a role in helping treat active breakouts.

How Do You Use Tretinoin to Treat Acne? 

It is important that you first consult your healthcare provider before starting any new prescription medication. Also, always be sure to carefully follow the recommendations of your health care provider,  use the medication as instructed and as per the directions on the prescription label. 

Use your prescription Tretinoin in accordance with the directions of your healthcare provider. Be careful to not use more of the medication, use more often than instructed or use for a longer period of time than has been recommended to prevent irritation of the skin.

Tretinoin is available in cream, gel and liquid forms. Before applying Tretinoin, first clean the skin with a mild soap and warm water and blot dry. Make sure that your skin is thoroughly dry before applying the medication or around 20 to 30 minutes after cleansing and drying your face. Applying tretinoin to damp skin can be irritating. 

Apply about a pea-sized amount of Tretinoin in a thin layer to the affected areas. It is recommended that you use Tretinoin once daily at bedtime. 

As a form of Vitamin A, the retinoid Tretinoin can make the skin very sensitive to any exposure to sunlight, as well as more susceptible to sun damage and sunburn. When applying Tretinoin, take extra care to protect the skin with SPF and try to avoid sun exposure when possible. 

How Long Does it Take for Tretinoin to Work to Treat Acne?

It usually takes from 8 to 12 weeks to see results that the medication is working effectively to treat acne. Note that it is possible that the skin may appear to look worse at first. As an agent of cell turnover, Tretinoin can cause the skin to first purge itself of any breakouts forming under the surface of the skin and as a result, may increase the appearance of breakouts at first. 

What are Possible Side Effects of Tretinoin?

It is possible to experience side effects when using Tretinoin. Possible side effects of Tretinoin include burning, itching, redness of the skin, chapped skin or peeling of the skin, changes in skin color such as darkening or lightening, unusual dryness or can cause the skin to feel unusually warm to the touch.

Tretinoin may be the solution treatment for you or someone you know who is struggling with acne. At CareCard, we are passionate about helping make your prescription payments more affordable, helping you save up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. You can search for a Tretinoin coupon here and learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.

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