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Help! Retin A Anxiety

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Violetbadcat
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Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:08 pm      Reply with quote
Helloooo! It's been awhile since I last visited, and in that time I introduced Retin A back into my skincare routine. I had taken a long time off- a few years- from tretinoin, using chemical peels and other therapies, but a week ago I started using Retin A .1% every other night.

The first application- nothing remarkable happened. My skin looked the same the next morning as it did the night before.

The second application- when I woke up once again my skin looked completely normal. I was happy to see a few flakes, but still nothing dramatic. I took several hours longer getting into the shower than I normally do, but when I finally washed my face the top superficial layer of skin just started ROLLING off. Lots of it. Like when you get a bad sunburn.

Strangely my skin was in really good shape still. It wasn't hyper red. It didn't hurt. It still looked and felt pretty calm but there was a pale pink demarcation along the borders of the area that peeled. I continued to peel steadily for two days.

I peeled so much I decided to skip two nights and apply on the 3rd day. So, I waited hours after showering, and used about 3/4 of the amount I had previously and applied the cream as before. But....I got nervous. I was afraid of a chemical burn. I just couldn't imagine what skin was left to peel at this point. My cheeks felt like baby skin- I don't think they've been this smooth in 20 years. They were so smooth, I just knew another application would only create problems.

So after about 20 minutes I washed my face gently with a washcloth and attempted to wash it off. And THEN my face felt strange. It was really tight and my cheeks were throbbing. No pain. No bright redness, but markedly pink. I felt kind of pin pricks of stinging. My cheeks felt so tight I had to slather on a ton of moisturizer.

My question is- I washed my face; have I managed to avoid the risk of a chemical burn? My skin feels a little sensitive right now, still rather tight, but otherwise not bad. A little sensitive to cold. I think because of all the layers of skin that have peeled off, almost kind of like the nerves are a little hypersensitive. Like when your skin peels off after a sunburn.
brierrose
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Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:12 pm      Reply with quote
I doubt you would have a chemical burn. I would give your skin a rest for a week just using a soothing or bland cream. Use the Retin A once a week to start and slowly increase as you tolerate it better. You can also buffer the Retin A with a moisturizer like CeraVe while your adjusting. Good luck!
Violetbadcat
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Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:29 am      Reply with quote
Thank you, Brierrose! Smile My face survived. Barely. Lol My skin actually felt incredibly tight for two days until, once again, it sloughed off tons of skin. Yet, no redness or other signs of irritation. I didn't even know there was skin to peel at this point.

I agree that once a week, or every five days is the best route at this point. It's kind of crazy and amazing that a mere 20 minutes of application can lead to days of heavy peeling. I actually have been buffering with moisturizer! I can't imagine what would happen if I didn't. I used the .05% regularly for years, and thought buffering the .1% would equate to some comparable percentage but I underestimated it potency. This stuff is definitely not to be toyed with.
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Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:39 am
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