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What are the side effects and precautions for using retinoids?

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Although retinoids are helpful for many common skin problems, they are not without risks. Risks include:

  • Dryness and irritation
  • Skin color changes
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Redness, swelling, crusting, or blistering

From: Retinoid Treatment and Your Skin WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

University of Michigan Health System: "Topical retinoid medications for acne."

DermaNetwork.org: "Topical Retinoids and Application."

Harvard Health Publications: "Do skin creams deliver?"

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Skin wrinkles and blemishes -- Treatment."

International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements database: "Nongenital warts: classification and treatment options."

American Academy of Dermatology.

FDA.

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on May 17, 2019

SOURCES:

University of Michigan Health System: "Topical retinoid medications for acne."

DermaNetwork.org: "Topical Retinoids and Application."

Harvard Health Publications: "Do skin creams deliver?"

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Skin wrinkles and blemishes -- Treatment."

International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements database: "Nongenital warts: classification and treatment options."

American Academy of Dermatology.

FDA.

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on May 17, 2019

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How can you minimize the risks of using retinoids?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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