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tiredpoet 01-16-2008 10:18 AM

Need advice from other tretinoin users
Ugh, my skin was looking fine, a few marks but they could be covered with makeup, and some annoying premenstrual bumps, but after over 20 years of horrible breakouts and using every prescription product available including accutane I could handle those.

Why did I decide to change my routine? I should have known, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Anyway, benzaclin seemed to have lost its effectiveness after five years, so I went to the dermatologist, who got me all excited to try spironolactone, but then deflated my excitement by telling me I had to be on the pill for a month first.

In the meantime he gave me tretinoin .025% with instructions to use every other day. So I wash with Cetaphil twice a day, use the same moisturizer I've used for 10 years (neutrogena original oil free) and use the tretinoin every other day since last week.

All of the sudden my face is super oily and I have very small red bumps and whiteheads.

I know there's an initial breakout with tretinoin, but does anyone have tips on reducing the severity (if that's possible)? How about anything I can use on the off days to help combat the breakout? I still have some benzaclin, and I've also heard salicylic acid on opposite days helps.

Also, how long did your initial breakouts last, and how fast did you see improvement? I know it's different for everyone but I'd love to hear all your experiences.

I'm not too worried about the dry skin, even if I combine something else with the tretinoin. At age 33 I've been around the block with the acne treatments, so I've learned the right way to moisturize my skin. I think at this low .025% tretinoin as long as I'm careful I'll be okay. I didn't even experience a huge severity of dryness with my two courses of accutane. My hands got severely dry and cracked but my face never did.

leonidas 01-18-2008 02:34 PM

Re: Need advice from other tretinoin users
I'm 34. I used Retin-A years ago (early 90's), and it helped. For some reason I stopped. About 5 weeks ago I asked for Retin-A from the derm. My pharmacist gave me Tretinoin (the generic form of things like Retin-A).

I was worried as hell about the initial breakout you hear about. The info. in the box said it will occur, if at all, between 2 and 6 weeks. I don't know how long you've been on it.

I did not have an initial breakout--at least I don't think so. I have had a few nasty pimples come up since, but nothing major, and my skin is doing much better than before the Tretinoin. However, I have been taking erythromicin as an oral antibiotic, and that may have prevented any initial breakout.

Anyway, as I said in the other post, I wash with Cetaphil in the morning, with Neutrogena something or other in the evening, then Cetaphil at night; wait 20 - 30 mins, then put on the Tretinoin. I started off every other night, but now use it every night. My skin gets oily, too, but I think it's because the Cetaphil keeps it moisturized. I get zero flaking. Only the occasional redness.

As for reducing the redness, my redness is minimal, as I said, so I don't worry about it. If it gets bad I will probably use Cetaphil as a moisturizer in the mornings.

americandancer 01-18-2008 03:19 PM

Re: Need advice from other tretinoin users
So, is this the same thing as retin-a? I use retin-a micro at night right after applying clindagel. My dermo said next time he'd give me a generic lotion for the retin-a, as my insurance doen't cover it. Would this be the same thing?

leonidas 01-21-2008 01:10 PM

Re: Need advice from other tretinoin users
[QUOTE=americandancer;3398325]So, is this the same thing as retin-a? I use retin-a micro at night right after applying clindagel. My dermo said next time he'd give me a generic lotion for the retin-a, as my insurance doen't cover it. Would this be the same thing?[/QUOTE]

Probably he would. Tretinoin is the generic form of Retin-A, Avita, and Renova, as a helpful website tells you, but I can't link to it here. I have the cream. When I used Retin-A back in the day, it was a gel. Creams are supposed to help moisturize; gels are supposed to dry.

I believe Differin is also a vitamin-A derivative, but it's generic form is something called Adapalene.

romeo41 02-09-2010 04:13 PM

Re: Need advice from other tretinoin users
I'm a forty year old female. Went to the doctor to get something to help with fine lines. She prescribed renova. My insurance does not cover renova. Does anyone know if tretinoin works just as well?

Accutaneatfifty 02-13-2010 01:14 PM

Re: Need advice from other tretinoin users
I love Renova. Renova is tretinoin with an emollient added. For me personally it works much better than tretinoin alone because it buffers, so I don't get the cons that tretinoin can bring (redness, small bumps, flaking), but still get all the pros which is beautiful smooth young looking skin. I've been using tretinoin since I began breaking out as a teen, then when renova was invented, I switched because I was living in a high altitude, dry location.

I have moderate chin acne/cysts, which unfortuantely for me, neither product helped, but the rest of my face looks young for my age. Genetics play a role, but I firmly believe Renova has allowed me to keep what my gene's gave me.

Renova is not covered by my ins, but Tretinoin isn't either because I'm over 35 and many insurance companies don't believe women break out after 35, so they think we request it for cosmetic reasons only. I pay around $115.00 for a tube, but it lasts forever since you only need a pea size for your entire face.

I am taking Accutane right now, so I'm on a break from my Renova, but will definitely pick it back up when the doc gives me the A-ok.

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