Mequinol and Tretinol (Topical)

Mequinol and Tretinoin cream is used to treat liver spots or age spots by helping the skin to regenerate and recover.

Overview

Mequinol and Tretinoin are usually suspended in a cream solution and prescribed to patients with age spots, also known as liver spots and solar lentigines.

Age spots are small dark marks on the skin, which can come in a variety of different sizes and shapes depending on the patient. They are small areas of skin where the pigmentation has increased following prolonged or repeated exposure to sunlight.

Age spots are so-called because they are most common in adults above the age of 50, however they can appear in younger adults, and have nothing much to do with age. They tend to appear on the face, shoulders, hands and arms, or other areas which receive a lot of direct sunlight.

Age spots can be avoided by making sure that you use sunscreen and do not spend too long outside in direct sunlight.

Although these spots can look like cancerous growths, and this can be alarming, age spots are actually harmless and don't usually require treatment for medical reasons unless they change in appearance or start to bleed or itch. However, age spots are commonly treated for cosmetic reasons.

Mequinol and Tretinoin cream is used to lighten the areas of skin which have been affected by age spots. It is a very specific treatment which can only be obtained from a pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor.

Mequinol works by affecting the particular chemicals in the skin which are responsible for creating pigmentation and causing darkening of the skin. Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A which is vital in allowing the skin to regrow, recover and regenerate. Together, the two pharmaceuticals can be effective in lightening areas of the skin affected by age spots,making them less prominent or in some cases even helping them to disappear completely.

Conditions Treated

  • Age spots

Type Of Medicine

  • Skin lightening cream

Side Effects

It is possible to have an allergic reaction to mequinol and tretinoin. Patients experiencing any of the following symptoms could be having an allergic reaction and should seek medical attention as soon as possible:

  • Hives

If patients experience any of the symptoms listed above, they should stop using the cream straight away ad seek medical advice.

Along with the effects it is prescribed to have and make the most of, mequinol and tretinoin cream can cause unwanted side effects for some patients. Most patients will not experience any side effects, but some patients may experience one of more of the following:

  • Dryness and peeling of the skin

Patients experiencing any of the symptoms above should stop using the cream and speak to their doctor about the best course of treatment going forward. The side effects should start to die down once the patient has stopped using the medication.

Some less common but more severe side effects include:

  • Large and painful blisters forming on the skin

Blisters are likely to require medical treatment. Patients who develop them should make an appointment to see their doctor and should stop using the medication immediately.

Dosage

Mequinol and tretinoin cream is a prescription drug. This means that it will come with clear instructions from your doctor as to how to use it, how much to use and how often to apply the medication. It is important that patients follow these instructions exactly as described by the doctor or pharmacist. Patients should not use more cream than is recommended by the healthcare professionals. As this medication is applied topically, a serious overdose is unlikely, however using the cream in larger quantities or at more regular intervals than is recommended by the doctor can increase the risk of side effects.

Applying the medication more regularly or using more than is recommended is not a way to achieve faster, more noticeable or longer-lasting effects. Instead, it is much more likely to cause serious irritation of the skin and to increase the severity of side effects.

Mequinol and tretinoin is applied using the applicator tip on the top of the bottle or tube of cream. THe medication should only be applied to the age spots themselves, and if possible, patients should try not to get any of the cream on normal, unaffected skin surrounding the spots.

In most cases, mequinol and tretinoin should be applied twice a day, with at least 8 hours between each dose. Patients should wait for half an hour before they apply another other cosmetic products over the top of the cream, such as makeup or sunscreen. The treated area should not be washed for 6 hours after the application of the medicine, otherwise the results are likely to be affected.

Missed doses

If a dose is missed, patients should wait until the time of the next dose before applying more cream. Under no circumstances should extra medication be applied in order to make up for the missed dose. This can cause harm in the long run and can increase the possibility and the severity of side effects.

Interactions

When more than one form of medication is prescribed at once there is always a possibility of interactions between the medications. In order for doctors to avoid prescribing drugs which interact which one another, patients should always be sure to provide a full, detailed and up-to-date record of the medications they are currently, or have recently been taking. This list should include any dietary supplements and non-prescription drugs as well as those prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Interactions between medications can interfere with the way in which the medication functions, or can increase the possibility or severity of side effects.

Taking certain pharmaceuticals at the same time as using mequinol and tretinoin cream can increase the chances of patients developing severe sunburn. Before using this cream, make sure that your doctor is aware if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • Diuretic medications

If patients are already taking any of the medications in the list above, they should make sure that their doctor is aware. Doctors may need to change the dosage in order to minimize the risk of interactions between these medications.

Warnings

Mequinol and tretinoin cream is known to cause birth defects in unborn babies. This medication should therefore not be used by pregnant women. Patients should alert their doctor or pharmacist immediately if they become pregnant whilst using this treatment. Patients should stop using the medication if they are trying for a baby.

It is not known whether it is possible for the active ingredients in mequinol and tretinoin cream to pass through into breast milk. Patients should therefore consult their options with their doctor if they are currently breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed whilst using this medication.

Mequinol and tretinoin cream is applied directly to the skin, sometimes directly to the face. This treatment can be dangerous if it enters the eyes, mouth or nose. Patients should take care not to let the medication enter these sensitive areas. If the cream does get into the eyes, nose or mouth, they should be washed with clean water immediately.

This cream should not be used on broken skin, or on wounds, sunburned skin, dry or chapped skin. Areas affected by eczema or rashes. Patients should wait until these areas of skin have healed before using mequinol and tretinoin treatment.

Using this treatment can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and more prone to burning in the sun. Make sure to avoid any artificial tanning equipment such as tanning beds or sunlamps and avoid spending long periods outside in the sun. Cover up the treated skin with clothing and sunscreen, but make sure to wait 30 minutes after applying the cream before putting sunscreen on the treated areas. It can also make the skin more sensitive to heat and cold. Patients should wear protective layers of clothing if they experience problems with this, or consult their doctor or pharmacist for advice and guidance.

You speak to your doctor about using this medication if you, or anyone in your family, has vitiligo.

Whilst using mequinol and tretinoin treatment, patients should stay away from using products on their skin which could cause sensitivity or irritation. Products such as powerful soaps, hair dyes, hair removal cream, products which include lime, alcohol or spices and harsh cleansing products can all exacerbate any side effects caused by mequinol and tretinoin or could bring on new side effects. Patients should try to use mild cosmetics whilst receiving this treatment in order to protect their skin.

Storage

As with all medications, mequinol and tretinoin cream should be stored in its original packaging. The mediation should be kept in its original outer carton to provide extra protection from direct sunlight. Both the outer packaging and the container itself should be clearly labelled with the name of the medication and ts active ingredients as well as details about the prescribed dosage. If there are any instructions about how and when to take the medication, these should be stored alongside the mequinol and tretinoin cream so that they can be found when required.

Mequinol and tretinoin cream should be kept at room temperature, in a place which is not subject to extreme fluctuations in temperature. The cream should be kept away from excess moisture, and should therefore not be kept in a bathroom or in any excessively damp rooms.

Mequinol and tretinoin cream is flammable and should therefore be kept well away from excess heat open flames and other flammable substances. It is therefore not recommended to keep this medication in the kitchen.

As this medication is usually taken twice a day, it may be necessary for patients to carry the medication around with them when they are out and about. The medication may be transported, but it is important to adhere to all of the same guidelines even when the medication is not inside the house. The mequinol and tretinoin cream should always remain clearly labelled, should be kept away from excesses of heat, sunlight and moisture.

If the medication is no longer required, it should be disposed of safely and responsibly. Patients can return the medication to a hospital, clinic, pharmacy or doctor's surgery as part of a medicine take-back program. This will ensure that qualified professionals can dispose of the medication without it causing a risk of harm to others. Under no circumstances should unwanted or excess medication be flushed down the toilet or disposed of with ordinary household waste.

Summary

Mequinol and tretinoin cream is a form of topical medication applied directly to the skin in areas affected by sunspots. Whilst this is not a preventative treatment, and there is no real harm caused by age spots on the skin, patients may use this skin lightener for cosmetic reasons.

Despite the fact that this is an optional treatment, it still comes with certain risks associated with it. Using this cream can cause side effects such as irritation to the skin and rashes or blisters, and it can affect the sensitivity of the skin. In order to reduce these risks as much as possible, patients should try and avoid spending time in direct sunlight whilst taking the treatment and should be careful not to exceed the recommended daily dosage.

Mequinol and tretinoin cream is known to cause harm to unborn babies and therefore should never be used by pregnant women.