Houston Location

Suzanne Bruce and Associates, PA
1900 Saint James Place #600
Houston, TX 77056
Phone: (713) 850-0240
Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (Cosmetic Services Only)

All About Retinoids

If you’ve ever visited a dermatologist office, you will know retinoids is one of the best anti-aging secrets out there. Why do those of us in the dermatology field like them so much? And why should you use them? Read on for all the details and learn about our solutions for healthier skin.

Retinoids are a class of synthetic and naturally occurring Vitamin A compounds and derivatives that include retinol and retinoic acid, which are naturally occurring in humans. Some retinoids, such as retinoic acid (tretinoin), are available with a prescription only. Other retinoids, such as retinols, are cosmetic and are available over-the-counter. Typically, prescription retinoids are more irritating but also more effective than retinols.

Tretinoin is the generic name for synthetic, first-generation all-trans-retinoic acid. Tretinoin is a pharmaceutical derivative of vitamin A. One popular brand many have heard of is Retin-A (tretinoin). Tretinoin was originally studied for acne in the 1960s. With use, patients noticed an improvement in their skin texture which prompted dermatologists to look at its cosmetic benefits. A clinical trial in 2001 studying a well-known prescription retinoid found significant improvements in fine lines and wrinkles after 24 weeks of using the product.

Why was the improvement seen? Retinoids stimulate new collagen. Collagen is a protein in our skin that we start losing in our 20s! With reduced collagen, our skin sags, wrinkles, and generally isn’t as plump and healthy as it was when we were younger. A collagen-stimulating product (or procedure) will improve skin texture.

In clinical trials, that tretinoin has been shown to reverse photodamage, the adverse effects of sun exposure. Retinoids also increase hyaluronic acid production. This is a natural moisturizer found in the body and skin that plumps up wrinkles and gives skin a healthier appearance.

Retinoids reduce hyperpigmentation – freckles, melasma, age spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (marks left behind after acne or other inflammatory conditions). It works by inhibiting tyrosinase (an enzyme that produces melanin), interfering with pigment transfer, and speeding up cell turnover rate. Retinoids are usually combined with other products such as hydroquinone to augment the lightening process.

Reduction in comedones and acne. Retinoids were originally studied to treat acne and were proven to be an effective treatment at reducing comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and thereby breakouts.

Increased cell turnover. By exfoliating the top dead skin cell layer, retinoids improve the texture and vibrancy of the skin.

Convinced yet? Everyone in Houston, Katy, and throughout Texas, can benefit from using retinoids. One of my favorites is skinbetter science® AlphaRet Overnight Cream. This doctor-dispensed product has a retinoid combined with alpha hydroxy acid to reduce irritation. It also contains glycolic acid, peptides, antioxidants, and moisturizers. Other favorites are SkinMedica® Retinol Complex and Revision® Retinol Complete. Set up a complimentary consultation today to find out which one is best for you!

About April Harrison, MPAS, PA-C

April Harrison has been a practicing PA since 2000 and has worked in medical and cosmetic dermatology since 2001. She received her Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and her Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is a Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) diplomate. In fact, April is the first PA to ever receive diplomate status with the SDPA. This designation indicates that she has achieved the highest honor possible as a Dermatology PA. She is a member of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants, the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants

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