What is retinoic acid for and how to use

Retinoic acid, also known as Tretinoin, is a substance derived from Vitamin A, which is widely used due to its effects to reduce blemishes, smooth wrinkles and treat acne. This is because this medicine has properties capable of improving the quality of collagen, increasing firmness, decreasing oiliness and improving skin healing.

This compound can be purchased in pharmacies and handling pharmacies, in doses that can vary between 0.01% to 0.1%, indicated in the dermatologist’s prescription, according to the needs for the treatment of each person. In addition, retinoic acid can be used to perform chemical peels in concentrations between 1 and 5%, to exfoliate the skin that will multiply in a new, healthier layer.

In addition, retinoic acid can be purchased ready-made at the pharmacy, with trade names such as Vitacid, Suavicid or Vitanol A, for example, in addition to being able to be handled in own pharmacies.

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The price of retinoic acid varies according to the product’s brand, location, concentration and quantity, and can be found between about 25.00 to 100.00 reais per unit of the product.

What is it for

Some of the main indications for retinoic acid include the treatment of:

  • Acne;
  • Dark spots;
  • Freckles;
  • Melasma;
  • Sagging or roughness of the skin;
  • Smooth out wrinkles;
  • Acne scars;
  • Recent streaks;
  • Scars or irregularities in the skin.

Retinoic acid can be used alone or in combination with other substances that can enhance its effect, such as Hydroquinone or Fluocinolone acetonide, for example.

It is important to remember that high doses of the retinoic acid tablet can be used as chemotherapy, indicated by the oncologist, in the treatment of some types of cancer, such as bone marrow and blood, since in very high doses it may have the ability to cause cancer cell death.

How to use

The effects of retinoic acid, or tretinoin on the skin can be acquired in the following ways:

1. Topical use

It is the main way to use retinoic acid is in its presentation in cream or gel, in doses between 0.01 to 0.1%, to be used on the face or in the place indicated by the dermatologist, 1 to 2 times a day.

A thin layer of cream or gel should be applied, massaging gently, after washing your face with soap and water and drying gently with a clean towel.

2. Chemical peel

Retinoic acid can be used in chemical peeling treatments, in aesthetics clinics or with a dermatologist, as it is a treatment that leads to exfoliation of the most superficial layer of the skin, allowing the growth of a new, smoother, smoother and more uniform skin .

Chemical peeling is a deeper treatment that leads to faster and more visible results than creams. Understand how it is done and what are the benefits of chemical peels .

Side effects

Retinoic acid can have some disadvantages and unwanted effects, and some of the most common include:

  • Redness at the application site;
  • Exfoliation of the skin, popularly known as “peel” or “crumble”;
  • Burning or stinging sensation at the application site;
  • Dryness of the skin;
  • Emergence of small lumps or spots on the skin;
  • Swelling at the application site.

In the presence of severe symptoms, it is advised to discontinue use and consult with the dermatologist to assess the need to change the dose or product used.

In addition, side effects can arise more easily when using higher concentrations of the drug, such as 0.1% cream.

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