Video:Is Retin-A Right for Me?with Dr. Debra Jaliman
Retin-A is a very common medication that helps maintain healthy skin, but it may not be a good idea for everybody to take. This video explains who should and should not take Retin-A.See Transcript
Transcript:Is Retin-A Right for Me?
Hi, this is Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board certified dermatologist in New York City and author of Skin Rules.
Who Should Not Use Retin-A
Retin-A is something that I frequently prescribe to my patients, and it's a great prescription medication. It actually is a vitamin A derivative that increases cell turnover in the skin, so it allows the blackheads and whiteheads to slough off the skin. It's a great medication, and if used properly, it can be very effective. There are some people, however, who may not want to use Retin-A. If you suffer from rosacea or eczema, and you have very sensitive skin, or you tend to have a lot of redness in your skin, Retin-A may not be the right product for you.
Using Retin-A Properly
On the other hand, if you have very oily skin, or you have a lot of blackheads and whiteheads, and you have acne, Retin-A can be a great product. Now, there are new formulations of Retin-A that are much more gentle than in the past. So, while Retin-A always had a bad rap - people said it turned them very red and peeling - now we have milder formulations that are very effective. If you're going to use Retin-A, make certain to only use it in the evening. It is not a daytime product. Make certain to use a sunscreen every morning with an SPF of 30 or above, and make certain to use your Retin-A very sparingly. This is a medication where you don't want to think more is better. You want to use a very small amount, like a pea-sized amount, for the entire face.
Getting Used to Retin-A
And, if you find you're getting irritation, you can cut back on it. So, if you start by using it every evening, and you find you're having irritation, you can go to using it every other night. If you know you have sensitive skin, start by using your Retin-A every other night. If you still have irritation with the Retin-A, one of my favorite tricks is to take Retin-A, mix it with a mild moisturizer, a non-comedogenic moisturizer, use half and half, and then your skin will get used to the Retin-A. So, you're basically diluting it in half.
If you have any other questions about Retin-A, please go to About.com.