Retinoids and Skin Care: Tips from the Dermatologists at BHSkin

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What are Retinoids?

The doctors at BHSkin can tell you about the many benefits of retinoid compounds for skin care. Retinoids were first approved in the early 1970’s for treatment of acne, and are still used to treat moderate to severe acne that is resistant to other treatment. Retinoids are topical medications, applied to the skin in a cream or an ointment. They can unclog the pores, removing dead cells and allowing other medications to better penetrate the skin surface.

Retinoids and Aging Skin

Some retinoids are FDA approved to treat wrinkles. If you have aging skin, you may want to consider retinoid topical medication to improve the appearance of your complexion. These medications work by increasing collagen production in the skin, and they also stimulate the growth of blood vessels. Using a retinoid can give your skin a rosy glow, and can reduce both age spots and precancerous lesions called actinic keratosis.

Are Retinoids Available Over The Counter?

Retinoid preparations are definitely available over the counter, but they aren’t as strong as prescription tretinoin, which can be prescribed by the dermatologists at BHSkin. At BHSkin, our doctors can prescribe the correct strength retinoid compound to maximize beneficial effects. Your doctor may decide to prescribe an alpha-hydroxy acid to use along with your retinoid preparation. This can have an additive effect, and your wrinkles and sun-damage will quickly show improvement. The benefits of tretinoin have been documented through scientific study, and unlike many cosmetic preparations, retinoids actually work to reduce wrinkles and improve the elasticity of your skin.

What Can I Expect?

It will take three to six months to see the effect of retinoid treatment on your wrinkles, and your skin will continue to improve after six to twelve months of regular use. As you begin treatment, you can expect some redness and peeling. The doctors at BHSkin can carefully titrate the strength of your prescription to minimize these effects. You should always wear sunscreen to prevent damage to your skin from ultraviolet rays, and this is even more important to remember when you are using a topical retinoid skin treatment, which will make your skin more sensitive to the sunlight.

What Can I Do to Maximize Benefits While Minimizing Adverse Effects?

At BHSkin, we tell our patients they should definitely avoid the sun, particularly during 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, when the sun’s rays are most direct. Your sunscreen should have a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Get in the habit of wearing a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face from the sun’s aging ultraviolet rays.

Don’t use more of the retinoid product than your doctor tells you. Normally, you should use a thin coating of retinoid cream or ointment, and using more will not increase your benefits. It may result in more redness or peeling, however. When you are using a topical retinoid treatment, you can reduce some of the side effects like peeling by using a good moisturizer. Use of a good moisturizer will reduce your skin’s dryness without changing the effectiveness of the product.

Retinoids can be harmful to a developing fetus. If you are a woman of childbearing age, your doctor will discuss this risk with you before beginning therapy. If there is any possibility of pregnancy in your future, don’t use retinoids. When you visit BHSkin for your dermatologic care, our doctors can advise you about all treatment options.

Visit BHSkin for Your Consultation

If you want to improve your complexion, the doctors at BHSkin can advise you about the best remedies available. For aging skin, our doctors often prescribe retinoid therapy. If you have aging skin and want to recapture the rosy glow of youth, call today for your consultation at BHSkin. A retinoid treatment may help you retain elasticity and minimize wrinkles. Call today at 310.205.3553 for a consultation with a dermatologist at our offices in Beverly Hills, Encino, or Glendale.

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