May 30, 2008

Skin Care- Topical Retinoids Are A Boon For Skin Care

by CD Mohatta

Vitamin A has a side effect. If taken in a large quantity, it dries the skin and peels it off. In larger quantity, it is dangerous to take vitamin A orally. This side-effect of drying and peeling the skin is made use of, in preparing different derivatives that are used as topicals for acne treatment and aging skin care. Some topical retinoids are also used in treatment of other diseases as psoriasis. Let us find out more about retinoids.

What Are Retinoids?

Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A. As vitamin A produces pigments in the retina, it is also called retinol. The word 'retinoid' is derived from that. Most of the retinoids are becoming very popular in treatment of skin disorders. Some like isotretinoin are available for oral use while most of the others are used in topical formulations. Retinoids are widely used to treat acne and other skin disorders. These medicines are not safe to take during pregnancy and utmost care has to be taken while using retinoids. The common retinoids that are used topically are tretinoin, retinol, retinyl palmitate, adapalene and tazarotene. Let us find out more about them.

Topical Retinoids> Uses

Topical retinoids find use in treatment of acne. Application of topical retinoids also helps in treatment of flat warts, pre-cancerous skin lesions, wrinkles, oily skin, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris, some skin conditions in which the skin becomes very thick, uneven skin pigmentation, etc.

The topicals are formulated in various strengths and bases. Those in moisturizing base are more suitable for dry aging skin. You will get most of the formulations in creams, lotions and gels. Your doctor is the right person to prescribe topical retinoids for your skin concerns. Self-application of retinoids may be dangerous for various reasons. Overloading skin with topical retinoids in the hope of becoming younger soon may cause more problems. Retinoids also need careful application and monitoring while you are using them.

Topical Retinoids > Application

Retinoids are not only available as prescription formulations but also are getting formulated in cosmetic products. Retinol and retinyl palmitate are used in such OTC products and application of OTC and prescription products can lead to more concerns, if used incorrectly. The common problems with topical retinoids may be burning, itching, peeling, redness, more sun sensitivity etc. You must talk to your doctor even if you are using an OTC retinoid product about correct usage and side-effects.

The right way to use any topical retinoid is to wash your face and let it dry for about half an hour. Take a small size of formulation, apply and rub properly. The product should be avoided around the eyes. Wash your hands thoroughly. The formulations should be preferably used every alternate day.

Some acne can flare up after beginning the use of retinoid formulations, but that goes away soon. Consult your doctor if you observe any side effect. Never use a vitamin A derivative topical if you are planning to get pregnant, or are pregnant or are breast-feeding. You must talk to your doctor about these issues and concerns.The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.

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