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tretinoin for the skin faqs pros and cons you must know about
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Tretinoin for the skin: FAQs, pros, and cons you must know about

The world of skincare is ever-evolving. As such, if you are still a novice, we are here to help you learn more about the different types of skin ingredients and how they benefit your skin in the long run. And helping us are beauty enthusiast Mira Kapoor and author Vasudha Rai who discussed all about Tretinoin (or Tret) in the latest episode of Skin & Within on the former’s YouTube channel. In simple terms, Tret is applied to the skin under guidance to treat severe acne and reduce facial wrinkles, roughness, and pigmented spots. “It is an extremely potent form of retinol which is why it is via prescription only. Retinol increases cellular turnover,” said Rai. However, she was quick to point out that Tret may lead to breakouts in many people. “If you have a destroyed skin barrier, it will destroy it even more,” she cautioned. To learn more, we turned to a dermatologist, and here is what she had to say. What is Tret and why should you use it? Tretinoin is a vitamin derivative, also called all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA). “It increases the production of procollagen to augment collagen type 1 and 3rd,” said Dr Shareefa Chause, Dermatologist and cosmetologist, Shareefa’s Skin Care Clinic. Apart from acne and wrinkles, Tret is also used in keratolytic disorders of the skin such as eczema, psoriasis (with moisturiser), cracked heels, stretch marks, and lentigines. FAQS Q – How to use Tretinoin? Apply Tretinoin at night for half an hour over the concerned part and wash it off. “Gradually increase the duration. Apply a moisturiser after applying Tretinoin,” said Dr Chause. Q- Shall I use Tretinoin in the morning? No, it is a photosensitive drug, so should not be applied during the daytime, said Dr Chause. Q- Is a moisturiser compulsory with Tretinoin? Yes, both moisturiser and sunscreen are compulsory with Tretinoin. Dr Chause attributed it to skin dryness and irritation. “Your skin should be properly moisturised,” said Dr Chause. Q- What is the sandwich technique for dry and sensitive skin? This can be used by those who have dry and sensitive skin. In this technique, first, you need to apply a layer of moisturiser, then Tretinoin, and again a layer of moisturiser. What to keep in mind? While Tretinoin can be beneficial, misuse can lead to adverse effects, particularly for individuals with sensitive skin. “Improper application or overuse can cause burning and irritation, resulting in damaged skin. Unfortunately, many individuals resort to self-administration based on information found online, often disregarding the importance of sunscreen,” elucidated Dr Kashish Kalra, dermatologist, hair transplant surgeon, and founder of Dr Kalra Skin Clinic, and the head of department, Max Superspeciality Hospital. – ⁠dryness and peeling of skin can occur in many people – Dr Chause said that Tret is not advisable for women planning for pregnancy. “It is not at all safe during pregnancy,” said Dr Chause. – ⁠it can lead to dry oral cavity – ⁠headaches can also happen – a person sensitive to Tretinoin should not apply it. While tretinoin can offer significant benefits for acne and anti-aging concerns, its usage should be approached with caution and under professional guidance to ensure optimal results and minimise adverse effects.

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