Retino-A is the most commonly used Tretinoin cream in India. Tretinoin is an acid form of Vitamin A usually prescribed for acne vulgaris, acne scar treatment and sun-damaged skin. Both women and men can use Retino-A.
Retino-A is available in 2 concentrations – 0.025% and 0.05% Tretinoin cream. The price of Retino-A 0.025% is Rs. 113 and Retino-A 0.05% is Rs. 108 for a 20 gm tube.
Retino AC gel is a variant that combines an antibiotic Clindamycin 1% and Tretinoin 0.025%. Retino AC is prescribed mainly for acne treatment. Tretinoin is available as Retin-A and Retisol-A in other countries.
Retino-A is a prescription-only product in India, meaning it should be used only in consultation with a doctor. If your dermatologist has prescribed you Retino-A, this post will help you use it while keeping side-effects and skin-irritation to the minimum.
Yugard cream is a milder, retinol containing alternative with less irritation, redness and peeling potential.
Is Retino-A a good acne treatment cream?
Retino-A is an excellent overall and spot treatment for cystic acne – those under the skin bumps that stay there for days together. A tiny amount of Retino-A on the spot suppresses a cyst, usually while it is still under the skin. That way you minimize chances of scarring from a popped pimple.
Using too much Retino-A on a single spot can burn the skin in that area and cause a dark mark. Use a cotton bud (Q-tip) to scoop out a minuscule amount of Retino-A and dab it on the pimple.
Does Retino-A work for pitted acne scars / pimple marks?
Acne scars look depressed because of loss of collagen during healing of pimples. Tretinoin kind of “fills up” pitted acne scarring over time.
This plumping action of tretinoin is not the temporary kind of plumping achieved from moisturizers. This plumping is because of increased collagen production under the skin, so the results last.
It is also because of this reason that Tretinoin is a gold standard in removing wrinkles.
For acne prone skin, Tretinoin / Retino A is a spot treatment, scar removal cream plus an anti-aging night-cream. It doesn’t get better than this.
Something so powerful does not come without side effects. Without proper precautions and skin care, Retino-A can damage skin beyond repair. Another scar removal cream is Glyco 6.
How to use Retino-A
When it comes to prescription strength medications like Retino-A, it is best not to self-medicate. Your dermatologist will likely get your started on the lowest dose first. That is so that your skin can build up tolerance, slowly and safely.
Retino-A can cause a burning sensation when you are just starting out.
- Wash face with a gentle cleanser. Our first choice is Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion.
- Wait for about 15-20 minutes after washing face. This will reduce the burning sensation a great deal.
- Use a very thin layer of Retino-A – half a pea-sized amount for the whole face.
- Avoid any cuts or open wounds.
- Do not use Retino-A around the eyes or on eyelids. Use a mild eye cream.
- Start with once every 3 nights. Then slowly increase to using it every night.
- It is okay to skip a couple days in between.
- Pat a gentle moisturizer on top if skin feels dry.
- Use a high-protection sunscreen during the day.
Retino-A Side Effects & Precautions
When using a Tretinoin cream, you may experience an “initial breakout” phase. Some people have reported a face full of pimples from this initial breakout. It doesn’t happen to everyone, and usually subsides in a couple weeks, but if it doesn’t, stop use and consult your dermatologist.
- Use Retino-A only at night.
- Never skip sunscreen during the day even if you use Retino-A only at night.
- Do not use any exfoliating cleansers, toners, moisturizers, whitening treatments, scrubs or peels. Retino-A makes skin extremely sensitive to basically everything, so using abrasive or exfoliating stuff alongside is skin suicide.
- Keep watching for signs of hypo pigmentation (lighter coloured skin patches). Stop use until hypo pigmentation fades.
- If you notice some swelling of the skin, it means you are either using too much Retino-A or too often. Stop use until the swelling subsides.
- Do not switch to a higher percentage of tretinoin before your skin can comfortably tolerate a lower strength.
- Retino-A is a prescription strength treatment. Read the accompanying leaflet carefully.
- Retino-A may cause excessive skin peeling. Use a gentle moisturizer to hide and heal the flaking.
- Use makeup that does not have any in-built acne treatments such as Salicylic Acid. Use Johnson’s Baby Oil or another gentle makeup remover to remove makeup.
The biggest thing to remember while on Retino-A is to not use any harsh skin treatments. Ideally, your skin care routine should contain a gentle cleanser, Retino-A and a moisturizing sunscreen. Clearly, Retino-A is not for product junkies.