Retinoids and Anti-Aging

 In Anti-Aging

While the world continues to search for the fountain of youth, many are saying they’ve already found it, and it’s a proven scientific method. Retinoids are a group of chemical compounds that are related to the vitamin A.

Retinoids are available in both over-the-counter forms and prescription only forms. Retinoid is scientifically proven to keep skin thick and elastic, keep collagen healthy, and lighten brown spots caused by overexposure to the sun.

Originally, Retinoids came onto the market for treating acne in the 1970’s. In addition to that, retinoids have also been used to treat skin ailments such as: warts, blotchiness, psoriasis, and also wrinkles.

Retinoids are approved by the FDA for the purpose of improving skin quality, which means that there have been clinical trials that give scientific basis for those claims. In short, there is concrete proof that it works.

Retinoids encourage skin cells to have a faster turnover time, making new cell growth happen on a faster timetable. If suffering from brown spots or an uneven skin tone, the retinoids encourage them to die and fall off, while also retarding the production of melanin – the pigment that turns your skin dark.

While Retinoids are proven to work by the FDA, there are other options if you don’t want to get a prescription. Retinol is found in over the counter products and will change to retinoic acid when it touches your skin. Many physicians suggest starting with an over the counter product containing retinol before beginning a regimen with a prescription retinoid.

When using an over-the-counter product containing retinol, it may take two or three months before there is a noticeable difference in the skin. If using prescription retinoids, smoother and more even toned skin can be seen as early as six to eight weeks.

One mistake some users make when starting a retinoid regimen is using too much. When applying too much prescription strength retinoid cream, it’s possible that inflammation of the skin can occur. Inflammation in the skin does the opposite of keeping it young.

The most common side effects of using too much too soon with retinoids includes, burning, tingling, itching, swelling, redness, dryness, irritation, peeling or even discoloration of the skin. Some users may experience rarer side effects such as hives, swelling or potentially difficulty breathing.

As stated earlier, patients need to build up a tolerance to retinoid before being able to use them on a daily basis. Otherwise, side effects like those listed above are almost certain to occur.

Should patients follow a slowly building protocol for retinoids and still end up with inflammation or redness, then they should discontinue use of the retinoids and look for other, more gentle methods for improving their skin health.

Retinoids are not for everyone, those with sensitive skin that do not see positive results with retinoids should not use them, as they will only damage skin further by continuing use. All in all, retinoids and retinols are a great way to improve skin health, provided you start slow with over-the-counter methods before moving on to prescription retinoids.

Photo credit: mahmoud99725 / Foter / CC BY-SA

All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or instruction.  It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition.  For specific medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, consult your doctor. None of the statements on this website have been evaluated by the FDA.