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Tretinoin (Altreno, Atralin, Avita, Refissa) is a topical treatment that helps decrease the number of acne pimples, promotes quick healing of those that do develop & improves fine wrinkles, spotty discoloration & rough feeling skin, when used with other skincare & sun avoidance programs. It is in a class of medications called retinoids and works by affecting the growth of skin cells.

It can take a few weeks to see an improvement with this medication, however it is highly effective in the long run. In the short term, it can make your acne appear worse for a few weeks due to an increase in cell turnover – this is known as “purging”. If you continue with tretinoin, it will eventually clear your skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines & scars.

When using this medication, it is important to use it as directed & not more frequently than prescribed. You should wash your face before applying tretinoin, gently removing any makeup & pat it dry with a clean towel. Apply a small amount of the cream or gel to your fingertips & spread it across the face – the areas to be treated should be evenly covered. You can also use a gauze pad or cotton swab to apply the medication. Wait 20-30 minutes before applying any other skincare products.

You should not use tretinoin if you have certain underlying skin conditions like rosacea or eczema. It can also irritate sensitive skin. If you do have a flare of these conditions, talk to your doctor about how to best proceed. It is also important to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen every day when using tretinoin & to avoid smoking or exposure to UV rays. tretinoin


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