Retinoids are a family of vitamin A derivatives that can reduce acne, fine lines and dark spots. They also speed up cell turnover and boost collagen production.
Unlike other skincare products that can be purchased without a prescription, retinol requires a doctor or dermatologist’s approval before it can be sold in the UK. This can be achieved through an online consultation with UK Meds.
What is Tretinoin?
Retinoin, which is the active form of Vitamin A, reduces acne, fine lines and wrinkles and hyperpigmentation by accelerating cell turnover. It also helps to increase collagen production and create new blood vessels (Yoham, 2020).
It’s an FDA-approved topical treatment that’s available via prescription. A GP can’t prescribe it, but you can ask a dermatologist or a certified prescriber for it.
Your doctor will design a personalised plan that will include the strength of tretinoin you should start with and how often to apply it. Your doctor will also advise you on how to use it safely and what products are best to pair it with, such as moisturisers that contain hydrating ingredients to prevent dry, flaky skin.
It’s important to tell your dermatologist or doctor if you’re pregnant, have an open wound or other medical condition that could affect how well it works. It’s also not known whether tretinoin is safe for breastfeeding or if it passes through breast milk (Riahi, 2018). It’s also not recommended for people with certain underlying skin conditions like rosacea because it may cause redness and sensitivity.
How does Tretinoin work?
Tretinoin (Altreno, Atralin, Refissa and Renova) is an effective acne treatment that also helps reduce fine wrinkles, spotty discoloration and rough feeling skin when used with other skin care products and a sun avoidance program. It works by promoting peeling of affected skin areas and unclogging pores.
As with other skin treatments, tretinoin can take time to adjust to the changes it makes to the way your body produces and stores collagen. This process can involve a few weeks or even months of regular use before you start seeing results.
During this time, it’s normal to have good and bad days where your skin seems more oily or flaky than usual. But don’t be discouraged – this is just part of the adjustment to retinol. It will fade eventually. Your dermatologist or GP will advise you to use a gentle moisturiser with ingredients like shea butter, glycerin and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated. They’ll also check you are using a broad spectrum sunscreen in the daytime as tretinoin can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What are the possible side effects of Tretinoin?
There are a few possible side effects associated with Tretinoin, although they don’t affect everyone. These include reddening of the skin, flaking or peeling of the skin, dryness, itching, burning sensation, rashes and temporary changes in skin pigmentation. These side effects usually fade once you get used to the medication, but it’s important to mention them to your doctor if you experience them.
Oral tretinoin is contraindicated in patients with the genetic marker t(15;17) translocation and any acute promyelocytic leukemia, as it can increase the risk of developing these conditions. It is also advised to avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds while taking this drug, as it can cause photosensitivity in some people.
You should also tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant. This medication can pass into breast milk and may cause harm to an infant, so you should not breastfeed while using it. You should also use effective methods of contraception while on this medication and for a month after.
Where can I buy Tretinoin in the UK?
In the UK Tretinoin can only be purchased from a licensed healthcare provider like your GP or dermatologist. This ensures that the medication is used properly and not misused. This is done because it helps prevent serious side effects that may occur from the incorrect use of the medication.
It is best to use Tretinoin after washing your hands and allowing the skin to dry completely before application. It should be applied only to clean skin, not to irritated or sunburned areas. It is also advisable to avoid skin products that can cause a drying effect such as astringents and shaving lotions, toiletries containing alcohol, lime or menthol; medicated soaps or cleaners, hair dyes or perms, or skin care products that contain sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid, since they can reduce the effectiveness of Tretinoin.
It is recommended that you use a cotton swab or gauge instead of your fingers to apply the gel. It can make your skin very sensitive to sunlight, so you should avoid sun exposure or protect it using sunscreen when necessary.retin a uk