If you’re in my Facebook community Skincare and Beauty 101, you may know that on June 26th we had a very educational live with dermatologist Dr. Mamina. I chatted with her about Dermatica, the online derm service she works for, and a wide array of interesting skincare topics. She was so knowledgeable and we are so appreciative that she took the time to share her expertise.
However, we also received a huge amount of questions! Because she couldn’t possibly get through all of them in time, the Dermatica team and their dermatologists have generously agreed to answer any that we didn’t cover in the live or received after. This blog will feature the answers I’ve received so far and I will do a part 2 with the rest.
Read to the end for a discount off your first 2 months with Dermatica.
This is not affiliate and none of my content with Dermatica is sponsored, I just feel strongly that tretinoin is a skincare staple and should be accessible to all.
Q&A Part 1
What are our top tips for starting a retinoid and managing side effects and working your way up in strength?
When you first start using prescription retinoids, you may notice your skin becoming red and flaky. Retinoids can also make your skin feel dry and tight as well as give you a burning, itching or stinging sensation. If you experience the above reaction, please do not worry, this is a normal response when starting retinoids. The steps below will help ease you into retinoid use and minimize your reaction. However, if you don’t have any of the above reactions it does not mean your retinoid is not working.
Steps you can take to minimize initial reactions:
- It is very important to remember that these side effects are worse during the first few weeks of your treatment and that they are entirely normal.
- If you do experience irritation from a retinoid, you can minimize this by using the product every other night until your skin starts to get used to it, which could take a few weeks.
- If the dryness, peeling and redness is too uncomfortable for you, try applying your moisturizer first, waiting 3-5 minutes for it to absorb, and then apply your retinoid treatment to your face.
- If your skin is extremely irritated after the first few days of treatment, take a few days off and do not use any medicated treatments until your skin settles down. Then, when you start using your retinoid again, apply as above, but wash it off after 60 minutes. Slowly build up the amount of time you have the treatment on your skin until you can keep it on overnight.
- Once your skin gets used to the treatment and you are applying it on a daily basis, you may start seeing improvements within a few weeks. However, it can take up to three months of regular use for the full effect of the treatment to be noticeable. So please be patient with your skin!
What is a good morning routine when using retinoids nightly?
When starting out it’s best to keep it simple. In the morning, gently wash your face, pat dry and apply a moisturizer of your choice and then your mineral/physical sunscreen SPF 30 or higher.
Can retinoids be used on alternating nights and still be effective?
Yes they can!
How would you introduce and use tretinoin in reactive rosacea skin?
At Dermatica we don’t recommend this as it can be irritating to the skin.
Is there any trick to successfully use tretinoin on the neck?
You need to be careful when using tretinoin on your neck because the skin is very thin and can get irritated so the best thing is to go slow. It’s better to start out with a retinol however even that can be irritating before using tretinoin on your neck. It is also good to work your way up and only apply it a few nights a week.
What is the shelf life of Dermatica products?
Our personalized formulas are compounded (meaning they are made to order based on each patient’s exact skincare needs) in-house, in our pharmacy, and the expiry date depends on the date we compound the cream and these are based on stability testing. We will always ensure that we supply you with treatment that has an expiry date to allow patients to use the treatment for a minimum of 28 days.
Is there any ingredient that helps with red and brown spots for very dry skin? Are retinoids or other topicals worth for hypertrophic scars?
Red spots or marks can develop post acne, these can fade gradually and retinoids such as Tretinoin help to fade them quicker. The same with brown spots, post acne brown spots can fade gradually by using Tretinoin and sometimes it will be good to add Hydroquinone too if the spots are due to sun exposure or melasma.
We don’t offer treatment for hypertrophic scars, these need to be seen in person by a specialist.
Besides tretinoin, are there any prescription only topicals that are helpful for photoaging?
Retinoids such as Tretinoin and possibly Adapalene are the gold standard for photoaging treatment. Our topical formulas also include niacinamide and azelaic acid as they have been shown to be helpful as well.
Thoughts on “purging” and whether it occurs with ingredients that don’t encourage cell proliferation or exfoliation
Purging can occur with retinoids such as Tretinoin and Adapalene. In the first weeks of treatment, a worsening of acne may be observed, including the appearance of small white.
Interested in Dermatica? They have formulations with prescription medications like tretinoin and can address many concerns from acne to aging.
- Get 1 month free + 20% off the second month in the US
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* valid till August 31st, 2021
Have more Questions for the Dermatica team? Comment below.