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When used topically, Retin-A treats whiteheads, blackheads, and general symptoms of acne.

Before You Go

Questions to ask your doctor:

  • Will Retin-A clear up my skin?
  • What is the best way I can moisturize my skin while using Retin-A?

Pre-procedure prep for Retin-A: If you're planning on using Retin-A (or any other products containing tretinoin), avoid prolonged sun exposure, which increases skin sensitivity. Retin-A should not be applied to skin that is sunburned.

Avoid products made with sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide (an ingredient found in Proactiv and Clearasil) while using Retin-A.

What To Expect

Retin-A comes in the form of a topical gel or cream. After washing your face thoroughly, apply a pea-sized portion of Retin-A in a thin layer on your skin before heading to bed. Adding more cream will not increase the effect of the Retin-A, so don't waste it. Repeat this every other night, or every three nights, depending on the instructions you are given.

Who should do it: Make an appointment with a board certified dermatologist to discuss the potential of Retin-A for your skin.

Duration: Retin-A should be used for the long-term treatment of acne. Many doctors recommend adding some form of Retin-A to your skincare routine.

How Painful Is It?

If your skin is particularly dry, Retin-A may sting immediately after applying the cream.

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