Tretinoin is a medical ingredient incorporated in Retin A for skin treatments. Chemically it is a derivative of vitamin A that alters the skin cells and deletes damaged cells from the epithelium. This helps in toning the skin color uniformly and texturing of skin for a younger looking skin.
Acne is a epithelial condition that causes inflammation and reddening, which up on healing leaves a dark mark or a patch of depression or dimples. Tretinoin present in Retin A relieves the scarring and changed texture of skin left behind by acne.
Retin A when used for treating acne and its scars; it is applied topically as recommended by the doctor. Retin A is assumed to affect the scar cells at genetic level that affects their proteins formed. These proteins alter the cellular functioning, their growth and differentiation. As a result the cells thus formed after treatment with Retin A are modified such that their nature is as comparable to regular skin cells. Thus, any kind of color or textural changes in scar tissue may be rectified. This effect is permanent and once gone acne scars never come back.
Also Retin A is responsible to increase the support system for the skin cells by providing them with sufficient elastin and collagen. Elastin and collagen increases the flexibility and vitality of the skin cells due to which they are healthier.
When prescribed for Retin A, the patient should discuss the medication completely with the doctor in order to avoid any problems due to lack of awareness. The directions of doctor should be strictly followed so that an optimal drug activity is achieved. Do not assume that applying copious amount of Retin A can produce faster results; instead it will only aggravate the skin condition due to overdose or increased side effects.
While using Retin A, personal hygiene should be given importance. Washing of hands before and after applying Retin A on the affected area is ideal to avoid exposure of Retin A to other parts of body.
Further, ensure the affected area is totally dry to avoid skin irritation that is usually seen in a few patients. It is good if you can wait for minimum 20 minutes after washing face. Even after application of Retin A, the affected area should not be washed for next 1 hour. Retin A may not be safe with other medications or skin products, due to this reason it is safe to apply these medications or products only after 1 hour.
Patients are informed about the increased sensitivity of skin to sun light. In order to prevent the harshness of skin, patients may use an effective sunscreen of good sun protective factor. Ideally sun screen products of SPF greater than 30 are useful.
In case Retin A cause any untoward effects such as skin irritation, itching, burning sensation, redness, or allergy like symptoms, patients are advised to stop the medication immediately, wipe clean the surface. But do not wash with water as the condition may aggravate. Immediately consult the doctor for advice and treatment.