What is retinoid dermatitis?

As a dermatologist, retinoid dermatitis refers to the after-effects of prolonged use of skin care products containing retinoid or vitamin A. This can be characterized by burns, itchiness, erythema, pruritus, and scaling as the retinoid tends to trigger skin irritation.

Is retinoid dermatitis the same as retinol purge symptoms? How can you tell the difference?

Retinoid dermatitis and retinoid purge are two different things; retinoid dermatitis is the negative effects of using retinoid products, while retinoid purge describes the skin changes that occur when you first use the products. Retinol purge is characterized by shaky or flaky skin, whereas dermatitis makes the skin scaly, itchy, or appear burned.

How should you treat retinoid dermatitis?

I highly recommend you quit using retinoids products before opting for treatment if you have severe skin irritation. You can start by using cold compressors or ice on the affected skin to soothe it. Cleanse your skin using cold water and opt for light products during the treatment. Apply OTC medications such as hydrocortisone cream to ease some symptoms. Hydrate the skin with gentle, hypoallergenic moisturizers and use aloe vera to speed healing.

Once the skin has healed, are you able to use retinoids again?

Yes, you can use retinoid products after healing as the skin typically gets used to the ingredients after prolonged use. Ensure you restart with lower concentrations and apply moisturizers or sunscreen.

When should you seek professional help for retinoid dermatitis?

I advise you seek medical help if you experience severe pain, burn, or irritation after using retinoid products.

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