A Guide to Prescription Retinoids

Prescription retinoids have several names, including Vitamin A, Retinoic Acid, and Retin A. It is a derivative of Vitamin A, which is part of the retinoid family. Prescription Retinoids are a highly effective form of medication that is beneficial in increasing skin cell turnover. In Australia, you can only access retinoids via prescription. This helps ensure that doctors advise patients on the best methods of use.

Prescription retinoid is an effective treatment for irregular pigmentation, acne, photogenic/UV induced aging, and other skin conditions.

How does it work?

There are several ways in which prescription retinoid works. Some of its key benefits include;

• It increases the rate at which old skin cells shed while stimulating the growth of new skin cells. It also works to reduce sebum production while reducing keratinization, the process through which the skin produces excess cells. Both of these factors lead to the formation of comedones or blackheads. Its antiageing factors include helping to improve fine wrinkling, reducing roughness and irregular pigmentation, and increased cell production and turnover.

• It possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce swelling and redness for inflamed acne.
• It promotes collagen production to boost the skin’s strength and elasticity.

How does prescription retinoid compare to other beauty products in the market?

Since it is a prescription medication, it is only possible to acquire a prescription retinoid from a doctor. It is significantly stronger and more effective than other over-the-counter creams. It is also different from retinol, which you can find in stores since it is less potent and classified as cosmetic.

How is it use?

Everybody’s skin is different, and some people may have more sensitive skin than others. It is, therefore, vital that you seek the advice of a doctor on the strength of a prescription retinoid that best suits your skin. In the initial stages of use, you may experience side effects such as peeling, dryness, redness, or irritation, which you can manage by reducing the frequency at which you use the prescription retinoid and applying your moisturizer first as a barrier. Your doctor will guide you through this process.

If you want to achieve the best results from a prescription retinoid, ensure that you use it consistently and in small amounts. Within the first 3-6 months, you are likely to experience significant improvements such as:

• Reduced pigmentation

• An improvement in fine wrinkles

• More uniform skin texture

Acne patients are likely to notice reduced inflammation and the number of comedones after the first 12 weeks of use.

How to apply it

Since prescription retinoid makes the skin very sensitive, it is advisable to use it at night. Ensure that you wear broad-spectrum sunscreen while you are on treatment. Additionally, you should be careful to avoid the more sensitive parts of your face, such as your lips and eyes. Avoid the creases of your nostrils and any irritated areas during application as well.

Who can use prescription retinoid?

Prescription retinoid is generally safe for everyone. However, it is vital that you discuss your medical history and skin profile with your doctor to determine whether or not it is right for you. For instance, prescription retinoid use may not be appropriate for expectant or breastfeeding women and those trying to conceive.