There is a great deal of confusion about acne therapy, due to the similar-sounding names of certain medications. These are the retinoids—forms of vitamin A that are the mainstay of acne treatment. They are prescribed by most dermatologists and other physicians. Let’s see how these medications work agaist acne.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by overproduction of skin cells called keratinocytes and oil, which block the oil glands, forming what is known as comedones (whiteheads and blackheads). This blockage can lead to inflammation of the pores.
How do retinoids work?
Retinoids stop the skin from overproducing oil and keratinocytes, and by calming inflammation.
Retinol and tretinoin are forms of vitamin A that are used in several acne creams and gels (as well as topical anti-wrinkle preparations).
Accutane (isotretinoin) is still another form of vitamin A, taken orally. Because it is taken by mouth, it can cause side effects through the body, the most serious of which is severe birth defects. This is why it is important that it not be taken by pregnant women or women who may become pregnant. In fact, women taking isotretinoin must be tested monthly for pregnancy, and doctors who prescribe it must have a special license.
How much to retinoids cost?
Prices for tretinoin start around $35 one 45-gram tube, strength .025%. To find the least expensive pharmacy near you, and to get a coupon, visit the GoodRX tretinoin page.
Where can I get a prescription for retinoids?
QuickMD can prescribe topical forms of retinoids through telemedicine directly to your pharmacy. If you’d like to speak with a provider about getting medication for your acne, get in touch with QuickMD today.