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5 Things You Need to Know About Retinol

5 Things You Need to Know About Retinol

1. Natural Form of Vitamin A

Retinol is one of the natural forms of Vitamin A, and it is critical for bone growth and vision. But Retinol is most well-known for its use as a treatment for acne and other skin problems, since it has a molecular structure that is small enough to penetrate the outer layers of the skin. Retinol is often confused with Retin A, a popular treatment for acne. Retin A is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A and is only available by prescription.

2. Looking Younger

Most anti-aging creams, lotion and gels contain retinol. It can diminish fine lines and wrinkles and give your face a smoother appearance. It can also stimulate new collage production, which helps to give a more youthful look. Many people see an improvement in just a few weeks. However, some products containing retinol offer little or no change because they only contain small amounts. A large amount can actually irritate your skin. Retinol creams also have a very short shelf life. Accutane, a drug derived from retinol, is a short-term prescription medication used as a last resort for extremely severe acne. Women should not take accutane while pregnant, as it can cause birth defects. If you decide to use accutane for acne, you should be under a doctor's care.

3. Deficiency Common in Developing Countries

Although most people in the United States get plenty of Vitamin A, a deficiency is common in many third world countries. To get more Vitamin A, you need to include more eggs and fortified milk products in your diet. You also need to increase your consumption of orange, yellow and green vegetables. Animal and fish liver also are good sources of Vitamin A. People who follow a healthy diet plan almost always get a good amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A supplements are available, but should only be used under a doctor's care. Patients who have Vitamin A deficiencies are given large doses of the vitamin for several days only. It is dangerous to continue this treatment for more than a few days.

4. Night Blindness

Night blindness is an early symptom of a Vitamin A deficiency. The whites of the eyes and the corneas will become dry and damaged. Foamy deposits will appear, and the corneas may ulcerate. Total blindness can eventually develop.

5. Serious Side Effects

Retinol, or Vitamin A, can have serious side effects if taken in excess. Over time, you will develop dry skin, severely chapped lips, headaches, bone and joint pain and pressure within the brain. Your liver and spleen many enlarge. If you take a very large amount of Vitamin A in one dose, you can develop severe symptoms within just a few hours. You will feel extremely sleepy, irritable and nauseous. Retinol also increases your sensitivity to the sun.

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