Atralin™ is a topical gel medication used to treat acne. It contains the active ingredient tretinoin, which helps reduce and control skin blemishes. Many patients may find that Atralin™ briefly makes acne worse before improving the condition within two to six weeks. It is generally considered a safe medication, but common side effects include mild stinging and warmth at the area Atralin™ is applied.
Patients experiencing recurring or severe cases of acne vulgaris can ask their doctor about prescribing Atralin™. The tretinoin in the medication is a form of Vitamin A, which helps clear the pores and encourages the skin affected by acne to peel off so that healthier skin can grow. Atralin™ can't prevent acne permanently, but it does help the condition improve.
Doctors direct patients to use Atralin™ once a day on a daily basis or every two or three days, usually in the evening or before bedtime. Patients need to clean their hands and face with a non-alcoholic cleanser or mild soap and wait 30 minutes to one hour before applying the medication. Applying it to damp skin can cause irritation. Patients should use a gauze pad or their fingertips to apply Atralin™ gel only where acne occurs on the face.
Most patients will notice that their acne gets worse soon after they start using Atralin™. The medication typically begins to reduce acne within two to six weeks, so patients should tell their doctor if their acne doesn't improve or gets worse after eight to 12 weeks.
Applying Atralin™ to chapped, sunburned or broken skin can cause the absorption of too much tretinoin. Patients should ask their doctor about the safety of using other topical medications with Atralin™, especially if they contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Doctors generally consider non-medicated cosmetics safe to use. Other conditions that doctors need to know about include pregnancy, breastfeeding, allergies to tretinoin and whether the patient is currently taking antibiotics or any other medications.
Mild and temporary side effects of Atralin™ include stinging and warmth in facial skin, a change in skin tone, redness and scaling. The medication also causes increased sensitivity to the sun and UV rays. Patients should wear sunscreen, stay out of direct sunlight and avoid tanning salons.
Signs of allergic reactions to Atralin™ include difficulty breathing, hives and swelling. Patients should stop using Atralin™ and seek immediate medical care if they experience any of these. Mild side effects that become severe or persistent also require medical attention.