Our expert says:
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.
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