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What Does Retin A Treat?

by Ella Goodman 14 Nov 2019

Are you someone who looks in the mirror and sees a few flaws you’d like to have vanish into thin air? You’re not alone. We all tend to look in the mirror and overanalyze every blemish or newly formed fine line staring back at us. Whether it’s acne or those first fine lines you’re trying to fight, the right skin care product can make all the difference.

The skin care options available today are plentiful, and if there’s a downside, it’s that there are simply too many and choosing the right one becomes overwhelming. Take Retin A for example. You’ve heard about the fantastic results it can produce, but you’re still not really sure if it’s right for you. You’ve considered talking to your dermatologist about prescribing a Retin A treatment but want to know a little more about it before you do.

Knowledge is power, especially in skin care. If you’ve been wondering what exactly Retin A treats, and if it’s worth discussing its use with your dermatologist or doctor, here’s an overview of what Retin A is used for, and how effective it is in each application.

First, What Is Retin A?

Chances are you’ve heard of Retin A, or a compound closely related to it, so you might have at least a vague familiarity with it. Retin A is a member of a group of compounds called retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A. Like other retinoids, Retin A works on a cellular level to enhance the health of your skin by encouraging cellular rejuvenation and turnover.

One thing that separates Retin A from other retinoids used in skin care is that it’s available through a prescription only. Retin A can have some side effects, making it important that a dermatologist or physician who understands the side effect profile choose the best dosage and application for the skin care issue you want to treat.

Retin A has received accolades in some circles for being one of the most effective ingredients for treating specific skin issues. Let’s take a look at a few skincare concerns that a dermatologist might prescribe Retin A as a treatment for.

Retin A for Acne

Of all the skin care issues Retin A can help treat, acne is among one of the most common reasons it’s prescribed. Acne is also one of the most common skin conditions in the United States, affecting as many as 50 million people every year. While acne often first becomes an issue during adolescence, it’s not uncommon for it to persist well into adulthood – in fact, the number of adults dealing with acne well into their 30s and 40s is increasing.

Even minor acne can diminish a person’s self-esteem. Anyone who has ever dealt with acne understands all too well that feeling of self-consciousness, but the problems with acne go much deeper than that. Acne can be painful, and it can increase your risk of getting an infection if the skin is broken. Finding an effective treatment for acne is important for your self-esteem and state of mind, but it’s also important for your physical health.

Over-the-counter acne medications might work for some, but for others they tend to produce a bit of a rebound effect. They dry the skin out to the point that it either becomes irritated, or the skin begins to overcompensate for the dryness by producing even more oil – which happens to be the last thing acne prone skin needs.

Retin A offers a solution that actually treats acne, without making the problem worse. That said, Retin A can cause some irritation issues and may present with side effects, so it’s not a solution that works equally well for everyone.

Retin A has shown to be effective in treating cystic acne, which is one of the most difficult and painful forms of acne. Cystic acne forms deep below the skin surface and presents as red, painful boils on the skin. They can easily become infected and have a higher chance of leaving scars behind as they heal.

Retin A works to heal cystic acne by unblocking the clogged follicles where acne forms. When used in combination with an antibiotic to kill the bacteria that lives in pores, Retin A can be especially effective in providing relief. The ability of Retin A to go deep and unclog pores is the reason a dermatologist might prescribe it in cases where other types of acne are more persistent.

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Retin A is also used to heal the damage left behind by acne, namely acne scars. Because Retin A helps facilitate cellular renewal, it can help rejuvenate the skin cells where scars have formed. It can lessen the appearance, and in some cases, completely heal acne scars.

Retin A for Fine Lines and Wrinkles

The other most common use of Retin A is to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While many of us would give the world for a magic wand that turned back the hands of time for our skin, the reality is that no such thing exists. Instead, we have to look for the next best thing, which many believe to be Retin A.

Retin A takes a multi-directional approach to diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It works by increasing cell turnover, but it also stimulates collagen production, increases blood flow to the skin and makes the outer protective layer of your skin more resilient against the environmental stressors it faces every day.

Retin A has also been shown to be effective in reducing the effects of sun damage. By enhancing cellular renewal, Retin A increases healthy skin cell function and can lighten the appearance of darkened spots related to sun exposure. Don’t take this as the go ahead to skip the sunscreen. Prevention is more important and easier than trying to fix the damage later.

Is Retin A Right for You?

This is a question that’s best answered by your dermatologist or physician. Retin A can be a very effective skin treatment for some people, but it doesn’t come without a few side effects. It’s important to remember that there are other skin care options that exist, many of them gentler and just as effective as Retin A. For example, retinoid skin care treatments that contain non-prescription strength ingredients that are gentler on your skin than Retin A.  

When considering a Retin A alterative, take some time to do a little research and choose a product with a proven record of results. The strongest option isn’t always the best option, and today we have the benefit of a non-prescription retinoid products that work beautifully to help your skin look its very best.

Discover how to build an effective skincare regimen for all skin types with our top selection skincare product bundles.

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