Does Tretinoin Help With Acne Scars
Yes, it does!
You may use Tretinoin to reduce the appearance of acne scars. The speeding up of skin cell turnover can encourage new cell growth in the affected areas.
Dermatologists also often recommend applying Tretinoin cream to prep the skin for chemical peel treatments aimed at removing acne scars.
What Else Does Tretinoin Treat
Topical retinoids like tretinoin are also used as an anti-aging treatment, targeting fine lines, dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
In fact, many people only think to use retinoids, like tretinoin and retinol, for their anti-aging properties.
Luckily, tretinoin is effective for a whole host of skin conditions, from acne to anti-aging and beyond.
However, tretinoin is not a good treatment option for certain skin conditions, especially dry skin, psoriasis and eczema.
For these conditions, seek professional advice from a dermatologist, who can prescribe an alternate medication for your symptoms.
How To Use Topical Treatments
- Cleanse your face no more than two or three times a day using a soap-free wash. Do not overwash. Pat your face dry without rubbing.
- Wait until face is touch dry before applying the topical cream.
- Avoid applying to the corners of the mouth, nose, and eyes or on other sensitive areas.
- Apply at least half an hour before going to bed.
- If irritation occurs, oil free moisturiser used together may be helpful.
- If stinging and redness is extreme, notify your GP. Your doctor may suggest that you start treatment every second night so you get used to the new cream or gel.
Potential side effects of retinoid creams
Although retinoid creams are very effective at treating acne, like all medications, they can cause side effects.
Its important to have regular check-ups with your prescribing doctor because they can tailor your therapy and give you more information on how to manage or prevent side effects.
Retinoids work by reducing the size of sebaceous glands and the amount of oil they produce. So, one of the most common side effects is dryness which may appear as scaliness or skin irritation. This can be reduced by washing with a gentle soap-free cleanser and using an oil-free non-comedogenic moisturiser .
When you start treatment with retinoid creams or gels, only apply a thin smear every second evening all over the face.
Patients prone to eczema may need to increase moisturising their skin to prevent any flareup of their eczema.
Also Check: Vitamins That Help Women’s Hormones
Does Retinol Produce Side Effects
Retinol can cause irritation, but the severity of a persons side effects may depend on the strength of the retinol they are using.
The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology lists the following potential side effects:
If someone experiences any of these side effects, they should contact a doctor or dermatologist for advice.
How Do I Treat Hormonal Acne
Based on the severity of your acne, different treatment options are available to reduce sebum production, pimple formation and painful inflammation:
- Blackheads and whiteheads: Topical cream .
- Inflammatory acne: Topical retinoid and/or topical antibiotic and/or benzoyl peroxide.
- Moderate to severe acne: Antibiotic and/or isotretinoin .
- Cystic acne: Steroid injection .
You May Like: Best Skincare Products For Hormonal Acne
Tretinoin Side Effects: What You Should Know
Tretinoin is available with a healthcare professional or certified dermatologists prescription. And while its effective in the treatment of acne, it does come with its own list of potential side effects.
One, in particular, is called the tretinoin purge.
Many people experience skin irritation within the first few weeks or months of use, especially if they have sensitive skin.
This irritation may include dryness, itching and peeling, but is classified as mild to moderate and limited to the outermost layer of skin.
Once your skin gets used to the medication, this irritation usually subsides. Tretinoin can also cause UV sensitivity, so its important to avoid direct sunlight for extended amounts of time or wear sunscreen when using it.
Main Molecular Causes Of Acne
There are four main molecular causes of acne:
- Obstruction of the hair follicles because of dead skin and hair cells
- Excessive production of sebum because of high levels of androgens
- Propionibacterium acnes a bacterium linked to acne
- Immune system conditions and inflammation
Hormonal acne is caused by fluctuations in androgen levels. It is particularly frequent in women a few days before menstruation. Androgens promote the production of sebum an oily substance that keeps the skin and hair moisturized. Too much sebum, however, can pile up in the hair follicles and block pores, leading to acne.
Read Also: Will Low Estrogen Cause Hair Loss
Best For High Dose Retinol: Paulas Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
Paulas Choice claims that this lotion may help fight uneven skin tone and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This lotion contains 1% retinol, making it more potent than many similar retinol products. This may suit people who have experience with using retinol. However, beginners or people with sensitive skin may prefer lower-dose options.
The company recommends a person only use this product up to 3 times a week when first starting. It warns that reactions such as redness, flaking, tenderness, and dry skin as possible signs of an early reaction.
A 1 fl oz bottle costs $60.
Why Do Androgens Cause Hormonal Acne
For the majority of women, hormonal acne occurs because their skin is sensitive to the normal levels of androgens like Testosterone.
Although considered to be a male hormone, it is normal for women to produce small amounts of Testosterone. Testosterone is an important hormone for women as it helps strengthen bones and muscles, provides a healthy libido and regulates the menstrual cycle. Androgens are the name for male hormones. Women produce other androgens as well as Testosterone. These are dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate , dehydroepiandrosterone , androstenedione . These three androgens are not very active by themselves and have to be converted to Testosterone or Dihydrotestosterone first.
Testosterone is produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. However, cells in the skin also make Testosterone from DHEAS. Skin cells, especially the cells in the sebaceous glands, also make DHT from Testosterone.
Hormonal acne also occurs when there are conditions in which too many androgens are produced such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Read Also: Best Herbs For Balancing Hormones
Does Tretinoin Treat Hormonal Acne
Youve tried the ABCs of acne-fighting medications: Alpha-hydroxy acids, Beta-hydroxy acids, and Cleansers galore. Still, nothing seems to conquer the angry, red hormonal acne covering your chin and jawline.
If you know this story all too well, its time to bring out the big guns: tretinoin, or tret as true skincare aficionados call it.
Does tretinoin work as a hormonal acne treatment? While it doesnt directly target hormonal fluctuations, it can be combined with other therapies to address hormonal acne effectively. Well give you a full breakdown of how tretinoin for hormonal acne works, what else you can try, and, most importantly, when you can expect to see results!
Is Tretinoin A Retinol
If you go to the drugstore often, you must have come across several skincare products labeled retinol.
Many people wonder if Tretinoin is also retinol, so Im here to tell you the truth.
Tretinoin is actually a retinoid.
Retinoid and retinol are vitamin A derivatives that are converted into retinoic acid. The difference lies in the formulas strength retinol is weaker than retinoids like Tretinoin, which is why it can easily be obtained without a prescription. For Tretinoin, youll need a prescription and can expect greater effectiveness in return.
Read Also: Natural Birth Control No Hormones
Best For Hormonal Acne: Neova Dual Matrix Retinol Dna
Neova claims that this serum targets visible damage, such as changes in skin pigment and discoloration caused by hormonal acne.
Neova states that the retinoid called hydroxypinacolone retinoate binds to retinoid receptions in skin cells, and helps to increase cell turnover by exfoliating away dead skin cells.
The company recommends this product for all skin types, including people with sensitive skin.
A 1 fl oz bottle costs $109.
Tretinoin For Hormonal Acne
While almost all acne is technically hormonal, the term hormonal acne usually refers to acne that occurs as a result of fluctuations in your bodys production of androgenic hormones.
Androgens like testosterone stimulate your bodys production of sebum — a natural oil thats vital for keeping your skin hydrated and healthy.
When your body secretes too much sebum, excess sebum can collect inside your hair follicles, creating blocked pores that can develop into acne.
Sebum isnt the only component of hormonal acne. Another factor that can contribute to hormonal outbreaks is the presence of dead skin cells on your skin, which can become stuck inside open pores.
When dead skin cells combine with sebum inside a pore, the result is a blockage. Blocked pores can be partially open or completely closed .
They can even become infected and inflamed, leading to the development of painful, uncomfortable acne lesions.
While hormonal acne affects both men and women, its slightly more common in women. It usually becomes visible in the days immediately before and during your period, as this is when your bodys testosterone levels are at their highest.
You May Like: What Supplements Are Good For Hormone Imbalance
How Does Tretinoin Treat Hormonal Acne
Retinoids like tretinoin work by speeding up your bodys skin cell turnover cycle. When you use tretinoin over the course of several months, your body produces new skin cells at a faster pace than it normally would, all while quickly exfoliating away old, dead skin cells.
This means youre less likely to develop blocked pores as a result of dead skin cells while using tretinoin.
So, is a 100% effective treatment for hormonal acne? Not quite. While tretinoin can remove one-half of the hormonal acne equation and significantly reduce acne outbreaks, its not proven to have any effects on your bodys sebum production.
If you have oily skin, you might need to use an additional treatment alongside tretinoin to get your bodys sebum production under control.
Depending on your acne, your healthcare provider may recommend combining tretinoin with birth control to lower androgen levels and slow sebum production on a hormonal level.
Or your healthcare provider might recommend combining tretinoin with antibiotics to target the bacteria that keep acne inflamed and lower your chances of developing infection or spreading your acne.
Is There Anything More Effective Than Retinol
A retinoid will be stronger than retinol, but retinoids are usually only available with a prescription. One type of retinoid, adapalene, may be as effective as more potent retinoids but may cause less irritation.
Salicylic acid is another ingredient used in acne treatments, which works differently from retinol. While retinol helps unclog pores by increasing the cell turnover rate deep within the skin, salicylic acid helps the skin to shed dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin.
Don’t Miss: How Many Mg Melatonin Is Safe
How Does Tretinoin Reduce Acne
Tretinoin works to clear out clogged pores, kills acne-causing bacteria, reduces inflammation, and regulates sebum production. It also helps to keep clogged pores from happening in the first place. With consistent use, it can help clear acne and keep it clear.
This topical medication pushes clogged pores up to the surface and then acts as a comedolytic, preventing clogged pores from forming.
Tretinoin can also help reduce the appearance of leftover acne scarring or hyperpigmentation from past breakouts. It also reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Topical solutions like tretinoin are an effective acne treatment option. However, treating symptoms without treating the root cause might make for an uphill battle.
How Tretinoin Cream For Acne Works
Tretinoin increases the skin cell turnover rate in your body. Therefore, you can have your body produce new skin cells and get rid of the dead ones faster than usual by using this cream regularly for a few months. This will cause many people to have dry flaky skin, which can cause a lot of discomfort. To mitigate these negative side effects, you should use a non-comedogenic moisturizer to treat hormonal acne.
This means you wont have to worry about blocked pores caused by the accumulation of dead skin cells.
So, can you expect 100% effectiveness when using Tretinoin for hormonal acne?
Well, not quite since it doesnt do anything to control sebum production in your body.
Youll likely have to use this cream in combination with another acne treatment if you have oily skin. Depending on your hormonal imbalance and acne condition, your dermatologist may recommend using Tretinoin with birth control pills or Spironolactone to keep androgen levels in check.
Often, skincare specialists advise people to take antibiotics when using Tretinoin to get rid of the bacteria causing skin inflammation. This helps reduce the risk of skin infection and the spreading of acne.
You May Like: Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer
What Other Treatments You May Need Alongside Tretinoin To Treat Hormonal Acne
Drum roll, please. Introducing your next three acne-fighters:
Each of these treatments can be used with or without tretinoin. Spironolactone and oral contraceptives, in particular, are a great pairing for tretinoin if you suffer from hormonal breakouts because they specifically address the hormonal causes of acne.
Next, well take a closer look at each.
Tretinoin For Different Types Of Acne
Although most studies of tretinoin have been in patients with hormonal acne, several trials have shown that it also reduced inflammatory acne. Thats because tretinoin appears to mediate the effect of small proteins known as cytokines. These cytokines have important immune messaging functions and some of them are proinflammatory. Multiple studies demonstrate that tretinoin inhibits the release of such proinflammatory cytokines. Even though tretinoin is a good treatment to reduce the appearance of acne, it likely wont cure your acne. You may still experience occasional break-outs, especially before your period. But there are other medications you can take alongside tretinoin to speed up recovery.
Also Check: Seed Cycling For Balancing Hormones
Cystic Acne Vs Regular Acne
Cystic acne is a severe form of acne. While regular acne develops when a hair follicle becomes clogged with a mixture of oil and dead skin, cystic acne forms when a clogged hair follicle becomes infected with bacteria.
When bacteria makes its way inside the follicle, it can cause inflammation. Infected pimples can become red, swollen and filled with pus. They may become itchy, irritated and can be painful if accidentally bumped or touched.
Worse yet, cystic acne can spread easily. If one infected pimple bursts, the bacteria can easily get stuck under your fingernails or trapped inside other hair follicles, causing a major outbreak elsewhere on your face or body that can affect your skin for months at a time.
Just like regular pimples, cystic acne is most common in teenagers and people in their early- to mid-twenties. However, it can affect people of all ages, and in adults its called adult-onset acne.
Best For Mature Skin: Cetaphil Healthy Radiance Renewing Cream
This lightweight cream uses a plant-based retinol alternative, bakuchiol, to reduce the appearance of dark spots. It is fragrance, paraben, and oil-free, and hypoallergenic.
Cetaphil claims that this cream protects against symptoms of sensitive skin, including:
The company states that adapalene helps to prevent new acne lesions from forming.
La Roche Posay recommends using it once daily.
A 1.6 oz tube costs $30.99.
You May Like: When Does Hormonal Acne Go Away
Conditions Treated With Bhrt
At MNHC Naturopathic & Medispa Clinic, Lorenzo Diana, N.D. and his team treat a variety of illnesses through the use of Naturopathic Medicine. We are also fully versed in the treatment of these and many other conditions.
- Pediatric/Healthy Kids
Part of the reasons behind offering naturopathic bioidentical hormone support is his belief that the body adapts better and accepts bioidentical hormones better than those which are derived from synthetic materials and chemical processes.
How To Choose The Best Retinol Product
When choosing a retinol product, a person may wish to take the following factors into account:
- Price: Some retinol products can be expensive, and a person should choose a product that will provide them with the benefits they want at a price point that will suit their budget. Many affordable retinol products contain the same percentage of retinol as high cost products.
- Retinol percentage: Retinol can irritate the skin. If a person is experiencing an acne breakout or has sensitive skin, they may wish to consider how potent their chosen retinol product is to prevent further skin irritation.
- Reviews: A person may wish to research reviews to see if people with acne found retinol products to be effective. A person may also wish to be aware of potential bias or limitations in clinical studies manufacturers cite to prove the effectiveness of their products.
Retinols are a typically milder form of retinoid, making them more suitable for people with dry or sensitive skin.
Also Check: Face Cream For Hormonal Acne
How Tretinoin Works
Lets start with the basics. What exactly is this skincare miracle? Dermatologists have been successfully using this Vitamin A derivative since the 1970s for acne treatment. Because tretinoin has been FDA approved for almost 50 years, it has amassed considerable efficacy and safety data in the treatment of both acne and photodamaged skin.
Tretinoins formal name is all-trans retinoic acid. It can be derived from natural Vitamin A. Two synthetic retinoids are also used to treat acne. These are:
However, these synthetic retinoids bind differently to the receptors in the skin, leading to differing clinical efficacy.
This little acid has some big powers. Tretinoin can modify:
Epithelial cell growth and differentiation
If you dont have a Bachelors in Chemistry, no worries. Weve got you covered. Basically, when tretinoin binds with the retinoid receptors in your skin cells, it increases the turnover rate of those skin cells. As a result, tretinoin has a wide range of favorable effects, but well focus on the ones that relate to acne:
Helps keep pores unclogged
Prevents collagen loss
A large number of clinical studies has shown that tretinoin reduces the total number of pimples as well as overall inflammation. It also helps prevent future acne because it induces a higher turnover rate in your skin cells, keeping your pores free of dead skin and excess oil.
Roughness or uneven skin texture