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Topical Retinoids


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Topical retinoids are mainly used for acne but there are some dermatologists prescribing Rx topical retinoids for rosacea, i.e., Differin (adapalene), Retin-A Micro (Tretinoin Microspheres), Tazret (Tazarotene), and others. "Also referred to as retinoic acid or vitamin A acid, topical retinoids are available as gels, ointments, creams, or foams to be applied directly to the skin. They work by promoting the exfoliation of dead skin cells as well as by boosting the production of new skin cells. The new cells then push dead cells and excess oil out of blocked pores. Retinoids also have anti-inflammatory properties." [1]

"As an intermediary step between topical antibiotics and oral isotretinoin, we propose that topical tretinoin may be effective in the management and reduction of rosacea symptoms,” Emily Forward, MD, of the University of Sydney, said at the meeting. There has been recent discussion regarding the use of low-dose isotretinoin in the treatment of rosacea, but safety with long-term use is an issue, she noted." [2]

"Expert groups and evidence-based guidelines agree that topical retinoids should be considered the foundation of acne therapy." So this article explains the increased use of retinoids by physicians over antibiotics since there is concern over antibiotic resistance. This article states, "The use of retinoids plus BPO targets multiple pathways and can often eliminate the need for antibiotics, reducing the likelihood of antibiotic resistance." [3]

"Topical retinoids have clearly demonstrated benefit in rosacea. "Some dermatologists choose to avoid them, because they are more difficult to use, but over the long term, they really do make a difference for these patients," Dr. Pelle says. "In my experience, at one month you get an improved skin texture, at four months flushing is much less frequent, and at one year there is a normal flush response, substantially decreased redness and few to no flares requiring tetracyclines." " [4]

There is a thread at RF that inspired this post. [5]

There are a number of over the counter retinols available in our affiliate store. [6] 

What is the difference between a retinol and a retinoid? "Essentially, retinol is just a specific type of retinoid." [7]

End Notes

[1] What to Know About Topical Retinoids for Acne, Heather L. Brannon, MD, very well health 

[2] Topical tretinoin resolves inflammatory symptoms in rosacea, in small study

[3] Increased Retinoid Therapy for Acne

[4] 'Subtype-directed' approach targets rosacea, Jan 01, 2005, DermatologyTimes

[5] Retinoid highly recommended by top-rated dermatologist on RRDi, beherenow

[6] https://irosacea.org/search/?q=retinol&quick=1

[7] What’s the Difference Between Retinol and Retinoids, Marissa Laliberte, Reader's Digest

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