How to put on Retin A / Stieva A for Melasma


Stieva A, the brand (trade) name of Retin A in Korea, is a Vitamin A derivative (tretinoin) cream. It can be applied on the face for melasma treatment,

However, some patients are told to put on Retin A cream on both the entire face and neck by their physicians, and few of them suffer from severe redness and irritation and their skin of the face and neck are peeled off suddenly and even melasma would be worsened. Those patients must have very sensitive skin.

Today I’m gonna tell you how to prevent the side effect of Retin A and how to treat melasma effectively with the cream.

I’ve seem two kinds of patients with opposite opinions on Retin A cream. One group of patients are craving for that cream, but the other group hate it and sometimes they say that they don’t wanna use it forever. Those people who are eager to try Retin A cream for melasma mostly never have used it before, and they heard about the positive effects of Retin A such as removing dart spots, melasma and even fine wrinkles from beauty bloggers or youtubers. However, when melasma patients happen to google (search) the side effects of Retin A, and they would be panicked. They would see the side effects such as irritation, redness, gross peeling photo of the facial skin and even the worsening of melasma!

People with strong skin barrier (we, dermatologists, call those people with ‘resistant skin type’) might not experience the side effects of Retin A. As I told you before, however, people with sensitive skin and dry skin like me, would suffer from the side effect of it, before they would experience of the effect of Retin A. Here are tips for sensitive skin

First, for melasma treatment, you should put a very very tiny amount of the cream. The amount approximately would be “the sleep out of your eyes’, like the amount of the tip of the cotton swab. Whenever I start melasma treatment with sensitive skin type, I always caution to patients “ Less is Better for Retin A”. Secondly, don’t’ use it every day. Once during two to three days is enough for the first time when you use it. If you don’t feel the irritation, you can use it more often later 2 to 3 weeks. Third, as you might already know it, you must use it only at night. Never use it in the morning. Finally, don’t combine your other acne cosmetics such as AHA or BHA toner. Those are chemical feeling agents. Retin A is the best for chemical exfoliation so don’t over use other cosmetic products at the same time.

About 5 years ago, when the cream was introduced in TV program, it was sold out in Korea for several months. If it has really cured melasma forever, now there would be no melasma patient not only in Korea but also in the all over the world. However, the reality is not that fantastic. The reason is the pigement of your skin reside both epidermis and dermis. If your melasma were soley in the epidermis (the top la