Question: Is Retin-A still the gold standard for skin care?
Dr. Rohrich: Absolutely. The only skin care agents that truly have a scientific basis are the retinoids, specifically Retin-A. There is a considerable amount of clear, real science which shows that long term use of Retin-A decreases the effects of photo aging, brown spots and increases the dermis.
Normally, our skin turns over every 6 weeks, but use of Retin-A significantly increases this rate to as little as 6 days and in the interim allows you to increase the dermal thickness. Retin-A also enhances the production of collagen in addition to blocking agents that help break down collagen. This reverses some of the aging effects of sun damage.
Perhaps one of the biggest problems we have with retinoids is patient compliance and the early irritation. This is where the guidance of a skin care expert is important, helping you to apply retinoids with a more gradual manner or providing for a mild, more tolerable formulation.
Retin-A is usually prescribed to be used once a day before bed, but some patients may need to start with 2 to 3 applications a week and ease in to daily use.