How to Control Irritation from Topical Tretinoin

Acne, Wrinkles, Dark Spots! Oh my!

Tretinoin is the generic name for such products as Agel, Refissa, Retin-A and Renova. A topical tretinoin’s purpose is to slough off dead skin cells of the outermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum) which encourages new healthy skin cells to reproduce at a faster rate. A healthy skin cycle should be every 28 days. As we age, this process slows down significantly; hence we see wrinkles, uneven texture and dark spots.

I would like to share a few secrets to get maximum benefit from topical tretinoin with minimal side effects. Tretinoin comes in different vehicles. Agel comes in a gel form while Refissa comes in an emollient form. In general, gels tend to be more drying to the skin. For very sensitive skin which cannot tolerate other forms of topical tretinoin, I  recommend Refissa.

Agel, an exclusive formula sold only by Jones Dermatology, comes in four different strengths. We recommend starting with the lowest strength (0.01%) and working up to the highest (0.1%), as tolerated. Not all skin types can tolerate the higher strengths of Agel, which is perfectly normal. If adjusting the days between application makes it more tolerable, the benefits are still there. It is better to use it as tolerated than not at all.

Slight flaking and mild redness is to be expected, but if severe burning, itching or redness occurs, it should be discontinued and we request that you call our office. Moisturizers can be used to alleviate dryness; however, a skin care professional should advise as to what to use.

To begin your transformation to healthier, younger looking skin, come into Jones Dermatology and ask about Agel or Refissa. Many of our patients have used it for years are loyal believers in the magic it can create with your skin.

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