Treatment Guides

Topical Skin Treatment

Topical Skin Treatment

Proper Application

Start slowly. Don't use the medication every night at first. Gradually work up to nightly use. This will help your skin to get used to the medication so that you can get the most from it, without irritation. Apply the retinoid every other night for the first two to four weeks Apply the retinoid to full face for 30–60 min then wash off for the first 2-4 weeks

If you are tolerating the medication well, increase to nightly use. If your skin becomes irritated, stop using the retinoid for a few days and start again once the irritation has resolved. In this case, it may be helpful to apply the medication less often than before, and to increase its frequency even more gradually.

Place a small pea-sized amount of the medication on your finger. Place “dots” in each of four locations of your face: Mid-forehead, each cheek, and chin. Rub the medication into the entire area of skin - not just on the pimples! Avoid the skin around your eyes and corners of your mouth.


Local Irritation

Your skin may become excessively dry, red, swollen, or blistered. Please notify your Alpha Clinician of these effects immediately. Your clinician may direct you to temporarily reduce the amount or frequency of application of the medication, discontinue use temporarily, or discontinue use all together.

To help limit skin irritation:

  • wash the treated skin gently, using a mild, non-medicated soap
  • Avoid harsh soaps and hot water. A gentle cleanser, such as Cetaphil, Neutrogena, or Purpose usually works well.
  • pat skin dry
  • avoid washing the treated skin too often or scrubbing it hard when washing
  • Avoid irritants, such as astringents, toners, exfollients, or masques while using retinoids. The retinoid will perform all those functions quite well!
  • Do not WAX or Laser the treated areas without stopping the medication for a few weeks. Other hair removal methods (shaving, plucking, threading, etc) are OK.

Please adhere to a daily skincare regimen that includes a topical moisturizer that is oil-free, non-comedogenic, or water-based. If you find the medication drying or irritating, you can use a moisturizer after using the retinoid.

Do not use more than the recommended amount. Do not apply the topical retinoid more than once daily. Excessive amounts or more frequent applications will not produce faster or better result but may increase irritation.

Exposure to Ultraviolet Light or Weather Extremes

Avoid, or minimize, unprotected exposure to sunlight, including sunlamps (UV light), during the use of a topical retinoid. If you have sunburn, do NOT to use the product until fully recovered because of heightened susceptibility to sunlight as a result of the use of a topical retinoid.

Exercise particular precaution if:

  • you have extended periods of UV exposure (e.g., due to occupation or sports)
  • your skin is particularly sensitive to the sun
  • you are using medications that cause photosensitivity

When exposure cannot be avoided, use sunscreen products (SPF30 or higher), a hat, and protective clothing over the treated areas.

Weather extremes, such as wind or cold, also may be irritating to topical retinoid-treated skin.

Pregnant Women

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of topical retinoid use by pregnant women. Topical retinoids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers

Scientists do not know whether topical retinoids are excreted in human milk. The impact of a nursing mother’s use of topical retinoids on the baby is unknown. Because it is poorly absorbed after topical application, it is considered a low risk to the nursing infant. Ensure that the infant's skin does not come into direct contact with the areas of skin that have been treated. Only water-miscible cream or gel products should be applied to the breast because ointments may expose the infant to high levels of mineral paraffins via licking.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in children below the age of 12 have not been established.

Storage Conditions

Store at 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C); excursions permitted from 59°F-86°F (15°C to 30°C). Store pumps upright. Keep out of reach of children.

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