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Terrible reaction to anti-wrinkle creams

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Hello. I am in desperate need of some advisement. I had a terrible reaction to some anti-wrinkle creams a week ago. I used Roc retinol cream. I have used this cream many times in the past. However, now that I think about it, I was a complete idiot and used a couple other products with it. First I put on Now Foods brand natural hyaluronic acid serum (use it all the time), then the retinol cream, then dabbed Perricone c-ester serum on just the wrinkles. (It's supposed to be a non-acidic base Vit c.) The next morning I woke up with a TERRIBLE reaction. My face was slightly swollen, my skin textures was terrible - some red bumpiness, some orange peel texture, open pores, and burning hot. It has made wrinkles under my eyes (I'm assuming from tight, dried out skin) that were never there before. I am 40 years old, everyone has always thought I was 30, no my face looks so old and I feel sick inside. It is a week later and my face is still burning, and the skin looks as if it is getting more wrinkled and red. I have been keeping it moisturized with Aloe and Aquaphor (treating it like chemical peel burn). What can I do about the inflammation? I am so scared the wrinkles, enlarged pores, texture are all permanent. Could this be possible from retinol cream? Why isn't the inflammation going away? Also, could this possibly have triggered rosacea - I've never had it, but my cheeks look red with capillaries showing. By the way, when I first woke up, my skin barely looked pink. Are things looking worse due to dying skin? I know these are a lot of questions, but I really need your help! This mistake is very hard on me.

Category: Dermatologist

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Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
 22 Doctors Online


Thanks for posting your query at I can understand your concern.

The symptoms that you mention suggest that all the creams applied together caused a lot of dryness on your skin.

As a result of which you have got the redness and the bumps. Also the burning sensation and swelling too.

Retinol itself is also known to cause the above symptoms.

I would recommend that you apply cortisone cream on your face for a week, keep the skin moisturized throughout the day. Also I recommend you stop application of all other creams for a couple of weeks.

In case your skin doesn't start to improve in two days, you need to visit your dermatologist.

Hope this helps, Please let me know if you have any queries.

Take care

Patient replied :

Thank you for the info. However, I need a little more information.
1) What has caused the enlarged pores showing? Is it inflammation or something else?
2) I have some skin on my face that has an orange-peel like texture to it now? Has inflammation caused that or is it something else?
3) My face keeps feeling flashes off and on of burning sensation. Why does it keep coming and going like that and what makes it finally stop?
4) If my skin has become so dried out, how come it is not flaking or peeling? I have been moisturizing every day.
5) Are any of these changes permanent? In other words, have the effects of these creams caused my skin to be changed permanently? This is what I am really afraid of.
If you could provide this information, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Thanks for your reply.

I can understand your concern. However, to tell you exactly what the changes are and whether they are permanent or not I need to see them.

Hence I would request you to send me a picture of the changes. So I can have a look and give my opinion. You are requested to reply as follow-up with high resolution pics.


Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar
Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
Diploma in Dermatology - Royal College Of Physicians & Surgeons Of Glasgow, UK , 2010
Residency - DNB, Dermatology -  K.J Somaiya Hospital, Mumbai, 2009
Medical School & Internship - MBBS - Dr. D . Y . Patil Medical College, Mumbai, 2004
Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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