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There are three different forms of RETIN-A -- cream, gel and liquid. They are available in different strengths that are available from your health care professional. Unlike many over-the-counter acne treatments, RETIN-A has the ability to get beneath the surface of your skin and work where acne begins. While the exact mechanism of action is unknown, RETIN-A is thought to loosen and expel existing acne plugs in the skin and prevent new lesions from forming. It directly attacks the cause of acne, the plug.

RETIN-A should be applied to the face once a day, before bed, using enough to cover the entire face lightly. Patients should wait 20-30 minutes after washing before applying RETIN-A.

Therapeutic results should be noticed after two to three weeks, but more than six weeks of therapy may be required before beneficial effects are seen. During the first few weeks of therapy, an exacerbation of pimples may occur. This is due to the action of the medication on deep, previously unseen pimples and should not be considered a reason to discontinue use. During the first few weeks of therapy, some irritation, including redness and peeling, will be experienced by most patients. Generally, these effects are manageable and diminish over time. However, some people with sensitive skin may experience excessive irritation. The manufacturer recommends application of RETIN-A once daily in the evening after washing. This product must also be used with caution in the sunlight, as it thins the stratum corneum (outermost layer of the skin), making the skin sensitive to sunlight.

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