Treat Acne With Proven Tretinoin Medication
Tretinoin, also called all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), is a metabolite of Vitamin A. It’s necessary for skin growth but it is not endogenous to the body. This is not unusual either. Omega-3 fatty acid is another essential nutrient that our body cannot create. Like omega 3 fatty acids, the body must digest an external source of Vitamin A and then convert it to a usable form. In the case with tretinoin, the body synthesizes it from Vitamin A-rich foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and salmon.
How Does Tretinoin Work?
Retinoic acid works by facilitating communication between cells for the production of collagen and skin (epithelial) cell growth. The purpose of new skin cells is to replace old, dead skin cells that have done their job and should slough off our body. And they do – to the tune of 30,000 to 40,000 every minute! But that’s for the entire body. Our face is always exposed so it needs to shed an extremely high amount. That’s where increased skin cell growth comes into play.
When new skin cells are created, they push to the surface causing the old ones to turn “flaky” and slough off. In this same process, increased skin cell growth also treats acne. As new skin cells make their way to our outer epidermal layer, they loosen hard buildup of oil and bacteria that clog pores.
But wait, there’s more. Retinoic acid also helps prevent the breakdown of elastin, part of the body’s connective tissue. Elastin gives skin its flexibility and firmness. When the skin’s supply of elastin diminishes, sagging and wrinkles result.
What Strength of Tretinoin Is Right For Me?
Certain medications are available in various strengths because research shows each person may have a unique reaction. The usual recommendation is to start with the lowest potency. Potency refers to the strength of the medication, also called dosage. In the case of topical tretinoin, strength is measured in concentration.
For newcomers to tretinoin or those with extremely sensitive skin, .025%, and .05% tretinoin can be starting points. If either concentration works for you, then you are all set. Over time you may want to increase the strength if you feel your skin can benefit more.
Men, in general, have thicker skin than women, so they are usually advised to jump straight to .1% tretinoin, the highest potency.
If the .025% or .05% does not create the desired effect, then a higher strength of generic Retin-A could be the answer. Overall, the idea is to slowly increase the potency, if needed, to find the right strength for you.
Another way to determine the concentration that fits your skin type is to reduce the frequency to 2-3 days a week. You may try this if the side-effects are not tolerable or you just prefer to slow your pace.
Tretinoin 0.1%, a prescription retinoid, treats acne vulgaris, hyperpigmentation, premature aging, and psoriasis. Tretinoin may be used only under the guidance of a physician.
You may need to use Obagi 0.1% tretinoin cream consistently for 6 weeks to 3 months in order to fully experience results. In some cases, acne will temporarily get worse during the course of treatment. This is common and treatment should continue as directed.
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