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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Retin-A

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 08/10/1999]
Question: I have an acne problem that has been recurring for the past 10 years nonstop. I went to the dermatogolist and he prescribed Retin A (0.025) cream, michocycline 100mg, and Benzoyl Peroxide OTC. I was wondering if the Benzoyl Peroxide will be too harsh for the skin sense Retin A in itself wil already peel the skin and bring to the surface old skin. Both Retin A and Benzoyl Peroxide are both make the skin sensitive to the sun. Since this two medication are similar in their actions will it be too much to combine this medications? My other question that I pose to you is, "What is michocycline"? " What is its purpose"? And what is the probable interaction with both Retin A and Benzoyl Peroxide OTC? PS "I have combination skin if that helps"!

Answer: Well, you probably will lose some superficial skin, worse in the sun. You won't know how severe this will be until you try it. But, I would start with one and add the other gingerly watching for excessive peeling. I suspect the drug that he/she gave you was minocycline. This is an antibiotic belonging to the class of drugs like tetracycline. Very effective in small doses in acne vulgaris.

Question: I am a 32 year old woman. I do not have any wrinkles on my face. Two months ago I started using retin-a cream as a preventive measure from wrinkles. Are there any side effects if I continue using this cream for a long time. Does retin-a cream have the FDA's approval as an anti-aging cream?

Answer: Retin-A(tretinoin) is a derivate of vitamin A. Topical use of this preparation is extremely effective in treating acne vulgaris. Reactions include dry skin, allergy, increased sunlight sensitivity-these all appear reversible on discontinuing the drug. It has not been approved by the FDA for "aging";however, in clinical practice continual use of this drug will markedly decrease aging lines. However, these lines tend to reoccur on discontinuing the drug.

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