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What are Retinoids?

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  • Written By: Haven Esme
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Retinoids are chemical compounds that are chemically related to vitamin A. These compounds work by normalizing skin cell function and growth. The chemical is often used in medicine, primarily in dermatology. Retinoids are commonly referred to as retinol and Retin-A®. These chemicals are all derivatives of vitamin A.

In all their forms, retinoids are becoming very popular as a treatment for numerous skin disorders, such as acne. Topical retinoids have been used to treat wrinkles, oily skin, flat warts, and pre-cancerous skin lesions. The retinoid is proven to be an effective treatment for skin conditions such as psoriasis or acne.

Improving the way that skin sheds and renews itself is the principal way that retinoids work. The chemical compound can activate the cells that are responsible for collagen production. They can also aid with the proper shedding of the skin, which is necessary for individuals that want to keep their pores clean.

At one time, retinoids were only available through a prescription, but more cosmetic lines are adopting the substance in their products. Many over-the-counter products now incorporate the chemical.

Retinoids should never be used during pregnancy. When unborn children are exposed to the chemical, they have an increased risk of suffering malformation. Women of child-bearing age should carefully consider the risks that a retinoid can pose during pregnancy.

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When the chemical is used consistently, it can cause the skin tone to even and prevent premature aging. For many young men and women, the chemical is used as a preventative measure to delay the onset of wrinkles and preserve the skin during the aging process.

Some retinoids are administered orally in dosages of up to one milligram a day. The oral version of the chemical provides an internal way to treat skin conditions such as severe or cystic acne. An oral retinoid is commonly prescribed by a doctor.

In terms of their strength, a retinoid is most potent when it is in liquid form. When they are in the form of creams, they are less potent. When treating the skin with retinoids, there are some side effects that could occur. For example, people who use the chemical may have an increased risk of sunburn.

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