Tretinoin is a topical medication that was developed to treat acne. It is a member of a group of drugs called retinoids which are based on vitamin A and it helps to speed up skin renewal. It’s available to buy in the UK in a variety of strengths including 0.025, 0.05 and 0.1 cream. It is one of the most effective treatments for acne but it also has anti-ageing benefits and is very useful in reducing hyperpigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles.

Tretinoin can also help to reduce discolouration on the skin caused by sun damage. It can’t erase severe sun damage or deep lines and wrinkles but it can make them less noticeable. It’s often referred to as the ‘miracle drug’ for skincare and is extremely popular amongst skinfluencers, beauty bloggers and celebrities.

However, not many people realise that tretinoin is only available on prescription from a GP or dermatologist in the UK. So when they see skinfluencers talking about tretinoin online from the US, they assume that it’s not available in the UK. This is not the case as it has been made legal to sell in the UK since 2022.

The reason why tretinoin is so effective for acne is that it makes the skin thicker, accelerates new skin cell production, and helps prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin. This can also reduce and erase fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin pigmentation, and give the skin a more youthful glow.

Although tretinoin is very effective, it can cause some side effects, especially when you first start using it. You may experience the ‘purge’ which is a period of inflamed, red and flaking skin that can happen post-application of the cream. This is why it’s so important to only use it as recommended by a doctor or dermatologist.

It is also important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any other medical conditions. It’s also worth telling them what you eat, drink and any other medications you’re taking as they could interact with tretinoin.

When starting with tretinoin, it’s best to start low and work your way up to higher strength creams as this will give your skin time to get used to it. It can take a few weeks or even months for tretinoin to show results so it’s important to be patient and to stick with the regime. It’s also a good idea to wear sunscreen when using tretinoin as it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Lastly, don’t use any hair removal methods (shaving, waxing etc) whilst you’re using tretinoin as this can cause irritation. If you’re interested in trying tretinoin but aren’t sure where to start, book a virtual consultation with our doctors here. They will assess your skin and discuss which tretinoin strength is right for you. They can also recommend any additional skincare products that you might need to achieve the desired results. tretinoin uk

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