Helped Over 500,000 patients with 98%+ satisfaction.

Connect & Get Personalized 1-to-1 Answers from Expert Doctors

DoctorSpring > Question Home

Use of tretinoin cream, effects and damage to facial skin.

Resolved Question:

Starting at age 16 I began using Tretinoin cream to treat my acne scars, however, I used it improperly and feel that I still suffer from misuse. Throughout my teenage years I continued to mindlessly use it in large amounts on my eyelids, and I noticed that it did cause a significant change to my facial skin altogether. For the past six months I have been treating the area with Ducray Ictyane HD cream which has helped, but not enough. My eye area still looks very hollow, and I need to reapply the moisturizer to my eye area every 3 hours in the daytime to avoid severe hollowness. I'm guessing the heavy use of retinoids on this very delicate area has stripped the area of its lipids, ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol and that is why the emollient cream has not sufficed, even in large quantities. I've noticed that the skin is so irresilient that it doesn't bounce back if i was to just rub the area. Even the heat from the shower leaves it the way too, and it is very intolerant to water. I'm sure it sounds like I'm exaggerating, but I really aren't. I am now 20 years old and looking for a solution. I've found that Cerave eye repair cream works well to 'plump up' the area back to normal, but it is very irritating and I must use copious amounts to see such results. However, I do feel that the ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide are the types of ingredients I need, since nothing else has helped to truly plump up the area back to normal. I started using it one week ago at nighttime and have noticed slight improvement (continuing with the emollient cream in the daytime) but I'm not sure if this is the best path to follow for recovery. My questions are what exactly the overuse of the tretinoin did to the eyelids and what is the best way to go about healing the effects completely, and how long it should take.
Thank you...

Category: Dermatologist

Ask Your Own Question

Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
 26 Doctors Online


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

Retinoids do not give very lasting side effects. It could have definitely lead to the dryness and peeling of the skin, however the hollows you mention may not be due to the tretinoin.

However, it's best to opine only after I see the area you are mentioning. I would request you to send a picture so I can have a look at your concern. Please reply as follow-up.


Patient replied :

Here it is. This is without any kind of moisturizer. I can provide a picture of the area before the use of Tretinoin cream also, if it helps....


Thanks for your reply.

You seem to be having a tear trough which is like a hollow just below the eye, it happens in some individuals due to loss of hyaluronic acid in the area.

Tretinoin cream wouldn't cause this effect, it's just the natural process of aging skin as we get older.

I would recommend application of clinique hyaluronic acid cream which would help in improving that area. To fill up the area, it's best to do a filler which consists of hyaluronic acid gel which is injected in the tear trough below the eye which fills up the area. the effect lasts for eight to ten months and then has to be repeated.

Hope my recommendations were helpful.

Let me know if you have any additional queries.

Take care.....

Patient replied :

Does Tretinoin cause permanent changes to the skin?

Hello Tretinoin cream doesn't cause permenant side effects. Only during the first few days, there can be some minor complications like skin redness, dryness, itching, or scaling of skin. However none of these are permanent damages. So don't worry about it.


Patient replied :

How long does it usually take to usually repair/restore the skin barrier with the help of creams?

Hello again,

It could usually take 3 to 6 months , however it varies from individual to individual.

The loss of hyaluronic acid however needs to be corrected with the help of fillers as I mentioned. The creams cannot always restore the skin. They act more like a preventive measure and corrective only to some extent.

It's an ongoing process and the skin has to be taken care of on a daily basis.

Take care

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

Users who read this, also read:

Make informed and better medical decisions.

Join the 500,000 people who found a smarter, quicker way to get Answers, Recommendations & Expert Opinions.

Expert Doctors at fingertips

Recommendation on next step. Second-opinion.Multi-specialty.

Save Time

Average time for answers: 6 hours.

Save Money

$35 for typical specialist consult vs. $120 for a local appointment.

Free Follow-ups

Clarify, ask further questions for free in private conversation.

100% Satisfaction

Money back guarantee for the 1st reply. MEDNET Quality Board.

Start My Consultation



Doctor Spring is a novel online Doctor consultation platform where you can get your medical questions answered by leading Doctors. Just Submit your question and rest assured that you will consult a Doctor easily. Once you submit the question, the Doctor from the concerned specialty will reply within hours. You can always ask more questions or add details with follow-up question options and make it an online doctor chat. You may use this service to consult a specialty or for getting medical second opinion. All paid services come with a MEDNET quality assurance and 100% money back guarantee.

DoctorSpring in news