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Effect of Retin A on Wrinkles

author image Stephanie Dube Dwilson
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Effect of Retin A on Wrinkles
Retin A is available as a lotion, gel and solution.

Originally prescribed as a treatment for acne, Retin A soon developed a reputation for its anti-aging properties. Regular use of Retin A smooths wrinkles and fine lines, and fades dark spots caused by sun damage. Retin A is available by prescription and is applied topically. It is known generically as tretinoin.

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Retin A improves the exfoliation process of the skin and according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, stimulates the production of collagen in the skin. This speeds the turnover of skin cells, resulting in younger looking skin.


Retin A improves the skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fading dark spots, and smoothing skin tone. All of these features make the skin appear younger.

Time Frame

It takes between two and six months to see noticeable improvements in skin tone from the use of a Retin A product.


Retin A is a prescription medication, and may not be right for everyone. If you are pregnant or nursing, wait to begin treating wrinkles with Retin A. There are also medications that may interact with Retin A. Aminocaproic Acid, Aprotinin, Fluconazole, Ketoconazole, Tetracycline, Tranexamic Acid and Voriconazole may negatively interact with Retin A or increase your risk of developing side effects from either medication, according to Talk with your doctor about any medications that you are currently taking before you begin using Retin A.

Retin A is available in several forms, including a solution, gel and lotion. Your healthcare provider can help you decide the formulation that is best for you. Dry or sensitive skin may tolerate lotions better, while oily skin may respond better to a gel.


Retin A use leads to redness, irritation and burning initially in nearly all users, according to UMMC. Minimize irritation by using Retin A twice a week to start, gradually increasing the frequency of application as your skin becomes accustomed to the product. Ask your doctor about applying a one percent hydrocortisone cream after application to ease redness. Most users find that these uncomfortable side effects fade within three months.

Retin A increases sun sensitivity, so it is important to apply a SPF lotion to all areas where you are using Retin A, even on a cloudy day.

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