Tretinoin cream is a Vitamin A cream. It acts in the centre of the cell. That means the nucleus of the cell and make certain changes and it regulates how the skin matures. That is how tretinoin cream acts. Remember that tretinoin cream is a prescription medication it should always be used only after consulting a registered medical practitioner. The main purpose of this article is to make you understand how this cream works and what precautions to be taken. But it does not mean that you can go to any chemist and purchase any tretinoin cream without consulting your doctor.
How does tretinoin cream act?
- Regulation of skin maturation:
The skin has two layers, the upper layer epidermis and the lower layer is the dermis. Tretinoin acts on both these layers. On the epidermis, it causes regulation of cell maturation. Cells move from the basal layer which is the bottom layer of the epidermis, upwards.
- Thickening of aged skin:
Tretinoin regulated this entire process. It also leads to thickening of the epidermis in aged skin, it also makes the keratinocyte which is the skin cells less cohesive (sticky), the cells do not stick to each other and do not clog up the pores.
- Exposes newer skin:
If you are getting a lot of whiteheads and blackheads, then tretinoin will help in breaking this clog and also preventing new whiteheads and blackheads from forming, as it regulates the cell of the epidermis it also exposes newer and fresher skin, you will notice that whenever you use tretinoin, it improves the skin texture and your skin feels much smoother and open pores look less prominent.
- Even distribution of melanin:
It also causes an even distribution of melanin when you develop dark spots. There can be an accumulation of melanin on the skin. Tretinoin cream also sheds the skin which has a melanin deposit, so the new skin form is lighter in coloured and there is a reduction in dark spots.
- Improves penetration of medications:
It also improves the penetration of medications that you apply after you apply the tretinoin. As it sheds the dead skin layer, whatever active components you apply thereafter will penetrate deeper and the action will be better.
- Improving collagen:
In the dermis, tretinoin acts by improving collagen. It makes new collagen, and the skin becomes more thick and firm, so, after the use of tretinoin for a long time, it has been sown that it thickens the dermis.
Uses of tretinoin cream:
Tretinoin is used in a variety of conditions. The most commonly prescribed condition is acne tretinoin is a preferred drug in. Acne it helps in reducing the comedo genesis, also reduces inflammation. Tretinoin is a good drug to use if you have acne. If you have a lot of blackheads and whiteheads, then tretinoin cream can help in reducing its appearance.
- Dark spots:
Tretinoin regulates melanin distribution, so it reduces the appearance of dark spots.
- Open pores:
Open pores occur as a result of increased sebum production from the glands and also if there is an accumulation of dead cells in these pores that leads to pustules pores. The pores appearing wider. Tretinoin stabilizes the lining of the follicular epithelium and makes the cells less sticky, then there can be a smoother extrusion of the oil that is being produced by the sebaceous glands so, there is less logging of pores and open pores appear better and also as it stimulates collagen it makes the dermis around your hair follicle thicker. In this way, open pores shrink and reduce in size.
- Fine lines:
As it improves, the quality of the epidermis and makes collagen in the dermis, it improves the fine lines and wrinkles.
It can also be used for scars. Scars occur if there is any discontinuity on the surface of the skin. There can be a loss of collagen and there can be a loss of skin markings on the scar. There can be an improvement on the scar if you use tretinoin cream.
- Stretch marks:
Tretinoin cream can also be used on stretch marks, as stretch marks are also scars. It works at the similar principle as it does in scars, but in stretch marks, it works only in the initial stages. If the stretch mark is still red, it shows the best results.
Tretinoin is also used as a pretreatment before any kind of procedure to improve the wound healing that occurs after any procedure.
How to use tretinoin cream?
This is the most important part to know about. Most of them use a very large quantity of tretinoin cream, which causes irritation, burning and redness to their skin. Tretinoin cream should always be used in a small pea-sized amount of cream and this should be enough for your entire face. Whenever you use a tretinoin cream on your face, make sure you protect the side of the eyes, nose and the angles of the mouth with vaseline jelly and then go on with tretinoin cream, as it irritates those areas.
On your first few days, apply and leave it for about 30 to 40 minutes and wash it off. If you can tolerate then you can slowly increase the time for 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1hour 15 minutes and so on. When you can tolerate the cream, you can leave it overnight. If you continue to have burning and irritation, then use for only once a week.
Always apply a moisturizer after applying tretinoin cream. If you have dry sensitive skin and still have been prescribed tretinoin cream or have acne or have fine lines and wrinkles, then I suggest that you apply a layer of moisturizer first, then apply tretinoin cream only on the affected area in a very small quantity. Always start with a very low concentration, like 0.25% cream formulation. A cream formulation is less irritating than gel or a lotion.
When will you start seeing results:
- In acne (3-4 weeks)
- In anti-ageing (4 months)
- In open pores (6-9 months)
- In scars (9-12 months)
- In stretch marks (9-12 months)
If you use it in the correct quantity and as advice, then there are usually no side effects, but it can lead to
- burning sensation
- scaling of skin
This happens in the shedding of skin. A lot of people complain of dryness of the skin after applying tretinoin, if that is the case you want to stop using tretinoin for few days, use a moisturizer let your skin come down to normal and then restart with a very small quantity and for a short period, so you reduce your contact time if you are applying it overnight you can just keep it on for about an hour and wash it off.
Precautions to take:
- Make sure you are using a very good broad-spectrum sunscreen. Apply a good amount of sunscreen and reapply it every 2 hours.
- Use a good moisturizer after applying tretinoin cream.
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