- Question: Hello, I have been suffering from acne for over 12 years, and I am now 24. I have finally found a skincare regimen which has helped dramatically, that is NeoStrata' s AHA range, and I am now using a 20% AHA cream every evening. However, while the acne is almost entirely gone (there is still a few stubborn blackheads and whiteheads left, but no more pimples), it has left hyperpigmentation marks and very shallow scars. I know that one of the biggest advantages of Obagi Tretinoin, when compared to AHA products is that it actually boosts collagen production and works deep in the skin at cellular level. I was therefore wondering whether I would be a good candidate for Obagi Tretinoin cream, as it could help with pigmentation and scars? Also, if I indeed would benefit from switching over from Neostrata 20%AHA to Obagi Tretinoin, should I respect a delay between the moment I finish AHAs and start over with the Tretinoin, or could I just follow on with it immediately? And also, what tretinoin concentration should I start with, as my skin is already resistant to high concentration of AHAs? Thanks in advance for your help, Sincerely, Marilyse B.
You would likely be a good candidate for retinol, vitamin A, use. However my personal experience has shown that retinol alone is not extremely helpful in addressing hyperpigmentation and is not always noticeably helpful with scarring, even shallow scarring. Results vary with each patient. I’d recommend trying a vitamin A product, track your results and then if you do not see desirable results consider something more aggressive such as dermatological-grade procedures like laser for the scarring. You could actually use the retinol along with your AHA, but be cautioned that you are more likely to notice irritation when combining the two. Sun protection while using this regimen is essential to avoid photosensitivity and further hyperpigmentation. As mentioned, I suggest a lightening product like CosMedix Lightning MD 6%. I’d suggest starting out with a lower concentration of vitamin A. You can always move up as long as you respond well to it. Please contact me with further questions.