Posted by: blossom | 2007/05/16

retin a and retinol

i am 50 and have relatively good skin, but have acne and chicken pox scars. would it help to use retin a or retinol to get rid of these? i have been using a mild microdermabrasion kit at home for 6 weeks, but don't notice any real improvement.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageAnti-ageing expert

Hello Blossom, thank you for the question.
Retinol, the animal form of vitamin A, is a fat-soluble, antioxidant vitamin important in vision and bone growth. It belongs to the family of chemical compounds known as retinoids. All retinoid forms of vitamin A are used in cosmetic and medical applications applied to the skin. Retinoic acid, termed Tretinoin in clinical usage, is used in the treatment of acne and keratosis pilaris in a topical cream. An isomer of tretinoin, isotretinoin is also used orally (under the trade name Roaccutane), generally for severe or recalcitrant acne.
In cosmetics, vitamin A derivatives are used as antiaging chemicals- vitamin A is absorbed through the skin and increases the rate of skin turnover, and gives an increase in collagen giving a more youthful appearance.
The treatment for the acne and chicken pox scarring would best be approached with a combination treatment regime. Good results have been achieved with at home topical applications of alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), and a regime of chemical peels (6 to 12) – combination glycolic and TCA peels. Needling has been used successfully for healing scarring and rejuvenating the skin but this requires a number of sessions (2 to 6) and a good cream containing Vitamin A, C, and E to be applied after the procedure. If these options do not give you an adequate result then one can consider laser treatments (Fraxel) and even non-animal hyaluronic acid filler in each of the depressed scarred areas.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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