Does the higher strength of tretinoin (Retin A) really make a difference?

Dear dr. Irwin: I started using tretinoin 0.025 % about 2 months ago. Recently I switched to 0.05% (about 5 days ago). My skin started to peel and I've noticed some fine lines starting to reduce. My question is: are the lines really reduced or is it just swelling caused by increasing the concentration of the tretinoin? I don't have pain or redness. I thank you in advance for your answer. M.

I think it’s probably just the irritation from it.  It takes 30-90 days to really see a difference in fine lines due to an increase in collagen.  There may not be much benefit from using the higher concentrations of tretinoin (Retin A/Renova) over the long term. Since it causes more irritation, I generally advise my patients to stick with the 0.025 or 0.20% because they will use it more consistently.  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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