Applying Retinoids

At West Oak Dermatology, Dr. Gant often prescribes prescription topical retinoids to treat the signs of skin aging. Topical retinoids help skin cells turn over to expose new, fresh skin cells and revitalize the looks and feel of the skin. The results are real, but you have to be diligent about how you start and continue their use, for optimal results.

After washing you face, one your skin is completely dry, apply a pea size amount of product evenly over full face. Avoid eyelids and the skin directly around the nostrils, as these areas get easily irritated. Allowing this to absorb for five minutes, you may then apply a moisturizer if needed.

For the first two weeks of treatment, do this routine every other night. After two weeks increase to nightly, if tolerated. A small amount of redness and peeling can be expected and this means that the medication is doing its job. As mentioned above, moisturizer can be used to alleviate some of these symptoms. As you increase to nightly use, you may find it’s easier to apply your retinoid mixed directly with a gentle moisturizer before applying to your face. This is dependent on your skin’s reaction and what works best for your routine.

In the morning after application, be sure to wash the medication off with a gentle cleanser. Always remember to apply a sunscreen of SPF30 or greater on your skin while using topical retinoids. If you do not, your skin will be more sensitive to the sun and at risk for sunburn. If you have concerns about your retinoid regimen, it’s best to consult with Dr. Gant or her staff so that you get the best possible results. Congratulations on taking a great step to making your best skin show!

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