Comparison of online pharmacies by Drug: Generic Retin-A Gel 0.1 (Tretinoin)
What is Retin-A Gel?
Retin-A Gel is a drug of the retinoid group, the active component of which is all-trans retinoic acid (Tretinoin). All-trans retinoic acid is the most active and effective form of vitamin A, significantly exceeding the effectiveness of other forms – retinol, retinaldehyde, retinol palmitate, retinol acetate, or 13-cis-retinoic acid.
Acne appears as a result of an increase in exfoliation of epithelial cells in the upper layer of the follicle and an inflammatory process. Retin-A reduces the density of adhesion of cells to each other and accelerates their maturation, which leads to the normalization of the skin condition.
The natural metabolite of retinol disrupts the expression of the gene that causes changes in protein synthesis. The drug passes through cell membranes and forms complexes with specific cytoplasmic receptors that penetrate into the cell nucleus and bind to DNA. Depending on the state of the tissue, protein synthesis (the transcription process starts, and the amount of RNAi increases) is induced or inhibited. Tretinoin inhibits gene transcription factor (AP-I), which allows to reduce or stop the synthesis of metalloproteinases and neutralize the negative effects of sunrays on the skin (including hyperpigmentation).
Tretinoin reduces the content of melanin in the epidermis, but there is no information on the changes in the number and size of melanocytes. The drug itself doesn’t trap the sunrays and isn’t used as a sunscreen. Induction of transcription leads to an increase in the number of epithelial cells in a state of mitosis, which enhances the proliferation processes in the papillary layer of the skin and renewal of the epithelium; reduces the adhesion of cells involved in the formation of acne vulgaris, prevents the formation of keratin plugs and increases the synthesis of glycosaminoglycan-like substances in the stratum corneum of the epithelium.
When treating open acne, it helps to smooth the skin surface without signs of inflammation. When treating closed acne, it contributes to their transition to open acne or papules, which then heal without scarring after the removal of the keratin plug. It prevents the formation of new acne. It is reported that tretinoin inhibits keratin synthesis, promotes hair growth (insignificantly), and has a slight anti-tumor effect.
Retin-A: indications for use
Retinoid Tretinoin (as a part of Retin-A Gel) has been long and successfully used for the treatment of acne and other skin problems. In the last two decades, it has also been used to treat wrinkles, pigment spots, and other aging and sun-damaged skin manifestations.
Main indications for use
- Acne, in which fat plugs form in the pores of the skin (called acne or comedones).
- Prevention of photoaging.
- Increased skin elasticity, reduced depth of wrinkles, and fine lines on the face, as well as even skin tone and texture.
How does Retin-A Gel work?
Below, we have deciphered the retinoid tretinoin’s action mechanism as part of Retin-A Gel for acne and wrinkles.
- All-trans retinoic acid as part of Retin A reduces the secretion of the sebaceous glands and also normalizes keratinization of the hair follicle epithelium, which significantly reduces the number of peeled epithelial cells in the lumen of the hair follicle. After all, these two factors cause blockage of the hair follicle orifices in the pores of the skin – comedones (acne).
- All-trans retinoic acid also has a comedolytic action, i.e., it can dissolve the substance, of which fat plugs in the pores of the skin consist. It also has a peeling effect (due to the effective exfoliating of the dead skin cells). The latter allows you to: 1) reduce the thickness of the stratum corneum of the epidermis and open pores for more effective cleansing and 2) even out the tone and texture of the skin.
- Along with a decrease in the thickness of the stratum corneum of the epidermis, all-trans retinoic acid stimulates the regeneration of skin cells. This process will include an increase in the thickness of the deep layers of the epidermis, leading to the strengthening of the skin’s hydrophobic properties and, thus, to a decrease in moisture loss as a result of reducing its evaporation from the skin surface. It’s not a secret that a well-hydrated skin looks younger.
- Penetrating into the deep layers of the dermis, Retin-A interacts with fibroblasts, stimulating their activity. This leads to an increased synthesis of collagen and elastin fibers (fig. 7), as well as hyaluronic acid molecules. All this increases skin elasticity and hydration leads to a decrease in the depth of wrinkles and fine lines on the face, but only in case of prolonged course use.
Thus, the use of Retin A gel allows you to –
- cleanse and tighten pores on the skin,
- stop the formation of new acne,
- reduce or completely remove pigment spots,
- reduce the number and depth of wrinkles,
- make the skin firmer, softer and more elastic,
- even out the skin tone and texture.
Contraindications for use
Before buying the gel “Retin-A”, you should familiarize yourself with the contraindications to its use. The main contraindications include acute inflammatory processes of the skin; wounds, burns; rectal diseases; pregnancy and lactation; hypersensitivity to the drug components.
In addition, there are certain restrictions on the use of the gel. The drug should be used under strict medical supervision in case of intracranial hypertension, diabetes, leukocytosis, lack of reliable contraception methods in women of childbearing age, liver dysfunction, renal failure, and chronic toxicity. It is also forbidden to use the gel for persons under the age of 12 and over the age of 50.
The active substance tretinoin has mixed reviews; moreover, the wrong use of the drug can cause such adverse effects as blistering and crusting; skin peeling; burning sensation; reddening; swelling.
In some cases, tenderness, thin skin, and allergic dermatitis can be observed. Patients can also suffer from hyperpigmentation, especially when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
Interaction with other drugs
Retin-A Gel is incompatible with tetracyclines, as there is a risk of intracranial hypertension. Moreover, it shouldn’t be combined with oral contraceptives containing progesterone, vitamin A and some hygiene and cosmetic products, provoking dryness, and irritation of the skin.