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Retin-A and Wrinkles


Retin-A is one of the many methods that we have to control fine wrinkles.  Retin-A, which is topical retinoic acid, is effective in reducing fine wrinkling and mottled pigmentation, stimulating blood flow for a rosier complexion, decreasing pore size, and in treating actinic keratoses (aging spots).


The dose that I have prescribed for you is 0.025% cream.  This is a low and safe dose and is very effective.  With excessive application or a stronger dose no more rapid or better results are obtained, and marked redness, peeling, or discomfort may occur. 


Occasionally a higher dose (0.05% cream) may be indicated.  For patients with very oily skin, I recommend Retin-A gel 0.025%.  This is equivalent to 0.05% cream.  If you have some problem wrinkles, discuss with me the possibility of applying a 0.1% cream directly to each wrinkle with a lipstick brush. 


Retin-A should be applied to the face every second day.  Apply a pea-sized amount to the fingertips, dab it over the face, and then distribute it.  It seem to spread most evenly over the face if you wash your face first and then wait a half an hour before applying the Retin-A.  You may use the cream close to your eyes and on the upper lids, but avoid getting the cream in the eyes.  On the days when you do not apply the cream to your entire face, you may still apply it to the fine lines using a lipstick brush.  This way, you can improve the fine lines without getting the unattractive redness that often accompanies the beginning use of Retin-A.


One percent Hytone cream, a mild hydrocortisone cream, will decrease any reaction to the Retin-A cream, especially when starting to use it.


You must be cautious about sun exposure when on Retin-A.  The skin is not made photosensitive, but is actually "younger" and therefore more sensitive to the sun.  You should avoid spending time in the sun and should not use less than a SPF 20 sunscreen for routine sun exposure. 


Remember, Retin-A is only one of the techniques we have to help you to look your best.


Copyright 2002-2004  Alex Keller, MD, FACS. pc.  All rights reserved.