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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