How to Treat Acne With Tretinoin
Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A and is approved for the treatment of acne vulgaris, the most common type of acne. The medication works by shrinking the sebaceous glands in the skin, thereby reducing sebum production and preventing blocked skin pores. Tretinoin also works as a skin exfoliant and helps to remove dead skin cells and fade acne scars caused by previous outbreaks. Tretinoin is available by prescription.
Wash your face with water and a gentle soap. Avoid using harsh soaps or cleansers, as these can cause excessive dryness and increase the risk of developing redness and irritation following use of tretinoin.
Wait at least 20 minutes after washing your face or showering before applying tretinoin. This will give your skin time to dry and cool down and will help minimize side effects.
Apply a thin layer of the medication to existing acne blemishes and to areas prone to breakouts. The best time to apply tretinoin is just before going to bed at night, but morning or mid-day applications may reduce side effects in some cases.
Wash the medication off your skin in the morning before applying moisturizers or cosmetics. Drugs.com recommends using a moisturizer with built-in sunscreen immediately after washing your face in the morning.
Avoid excessive sun exposure while using tretinoin. This medication can cause photosensitivity and increase your risk of serious burns. Always wear sun protection when going outside.
Consult your doctor if you develop severe side effects when using tretinoin. In some cases, the redness, dryness, burning and itching associated with tretinoin use can be diminished by an adjustment in dose or frequency of application, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
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