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Topical Retinoid

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Vitamin A Adult

Topical Retinoid - What is it for

​Your doctor has prescribed the following medication:

  • Adapalene
  • Tretinoin

Topical adapalene or tretinoin can be applied to the skin to treat acne.
This medication works by reducing inflammation and clear blocked pores. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Topical Retinoid - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Topical Retinoid cause?

Initially, you may experience peeling of the skin, with redness and even a mild stinging sensation. If you experience bad irritation, apply it less frequently.

Sometimes, your acne may seem to get worse during the first two to three weeks. This is a normal reaction. If you continue using this medicine, you will notice improvement. The best results may be achieved after four to seven weeks of treatment.

​If you experience any of the following side effects, please consult your doctor immediately:

  • Burning
  • Blistering
  • Crusting
  • Itch
  • Swelling

Before taking Topical Retinoid, what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Topical Retinoid?

​Do not apply benzoyl peroxide together at the same time as topical tretinoin as it will reduce the effectiveness of topical tretinoin.

Topical Retinoid - Dosage and How to Use

How should Topical Retinoid be used?

  • ​Wash the skin with cleanser, then rinse and pat dry
  • Wash your hands before and after applying the medication.
  • Apply a thin layer of medication to cover the affected areas according to your doctor’s instructions.
  • If you are using this preparation for the first time, start with applying on a small area of affected part and increase gradually to other areas over the following week if there is no skin irritation. Alternatively, start by using every other day for the first 2 weeks, then apply daily.
  • Avoid applying the medication on broken skin or too near to your eyes, mouth and nose as it may cause irritation.
  • Flush the area thoroughly with water if the medication accidentally gets into your eyes, mouth, and nose.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you forgot to apply a dose of this medication, apply it as soon as you remember. Skip the dose if it is time for the next dose. Apply your next dose at the usual time. Do not apply two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Topical Retinoid - Handling

How should I handle Topical Retinoid safely?

Topical Retinoid - Storage

How should I store Topical Retinoid?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Topical Retinoid safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Topical Retinoid - Additional Information

​Avoid washing your face too often as this may increase the drying-out effect of your medication. Wash your face two to three times a day only.

Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, avoid using other “drying” preparations on the same treated areas to prevent severe irritations. These include harsh soaps and cleansers, alcoholic preparations and medicated cosmetics or soaps. 

Avoid staying directly under sunlight for long durations. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen product with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 and wear protective clothing when you are exposed to direct sunlight.

Avoid applying heavy make-up and using oily cosmetics. It is recommended to choose make-up products with non-oily formulas.

  • Updated on Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

    ​If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

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