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Retinol-A for Acne

Retinol-A for Acne Retinol-A for Acne Retinol-A for Acne


While you may think of vitamin A's benefits as those you receive when eating leafy greens or taking a multivitamin, vitamin A also can be applied to the skin. One such topical vitamin A treatment is called Retinol-A or simply Retin-A. This treatment offers exfoliating properties that help relieve acne symptoms--and reduce the incidence of wrinkles.


For many years, scientists noted that ingesting excessive amounts of vitamin A caused the skin to peel or appear dry. While this is not a desirable effect, for those with acne, the ability to reduce oil production via drying is beneficial. Dermatologists prescribed vitamin A supplements for those with acne until vitamin A's properties were manufactured as Retin-A. Today, vitamin A is found in products such as Retin-A for acne treatment, oily skin, wrinkles and psoriasis.


When Retin-A is applied to the skin, the vitamin A seeps into the pores and has an keratolytic effect. This means the Retin-A actually unplugs the oil from the hair follicle, resulting in clearer skin. This effect also makes Retin-A especially capable of treating blackheads and whiteheads as Retin-A actually unplugs the keratin that causes these troublesome occurrences.


Retin-A is offered in two forms: a gel or cream base. The use of either often depends upon the type of skin and symptoms a person experiences. As a general rule, a cream is a hydrating application. Therefore, it may not be recommended for use in those with extremely oily skin but ideal for those with especially sensitive skin. For oilier skin types, Retin-A gel may be better indicated.


The application of Retin-A can cause side effects such as irritation and inflammation. For this reason, it's important that a patient is prescribed the appropriate concentration of Retin-A. If you experience symptoms such as redness, burning, peeling or cracking, to the point of becoming troublesome or where symptoms grow increasingly worse instead of improving, you should cease the use of Retin-A and see a physician to adjust the concentration. Retin-A also may make you more susceptible to sunburn, so sunscreen always should be worn when outside.

Expert Insight

Retin-A should be applied only in small amounts--typically the size of a pea for the entire face. Applying more could cause severe peeling or cracking. The product is best applied 20 to 30 minutes after washing the face in order to minimize irritation. If a person experiences severe irritation after application, applying to the skin every other day may be a better solution for combating dryness.

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