Caring for your Skin

Why Do I Need Special Skin Care ?

While you are taking Novatretin you will have to take a little extra care of your skin as Novatretin will make your skin drier and more fragile. The information in this section will help you to look after your skin and keep the side effects of Novatretin under control. It is a good idea to follow the skin care advice given in this section even before you start to notice any of the side effects related to Novatretin. Prevention is always better than cure.

What NOT To Do While Taking Novatretin

It is important to follow this list of things not to do so that your skin remains in good condition.

  • Do not remove any scaly or peeling skin. Since your skin is fragile you can damage your skin by trying to remove scaly and peeling skin, this could lead to skin infections.
  • Do not have facials. Because your skin is fragile the potentially harsh treatments involved in a facial can cause damage to your skin.
  • Do not have waxes. Waxing while your skin is fragile can actually remove skin as well as hair!
  • Do not use other medication. Novatretin is a strong medication and you should not use any other medication unless your doctor has specifically told you to do so.
  • Do not have any part of your body pierced. There can be a serious risk of infection of any new piercing while you are on Novatretin.
  • Do not have electrolysis. Because your skin is fragile, electrolysis has the potential to damage your skin.
  • Do not use hair colouring containing peroxide and do not have a perm or use hair rollers. If you want to get your hair permed it is best to do so at least two weeks before you start taking your Novatretin. While you are taking Novatretin your scalp will be more sensitive and your hair will be more fragile. Because of this it is important to avoid harsh hair treatments such as colours and perms.
  • Do not use solariums and sunbeds. Solariums and sunbeds can burn your skin just like the sun, your skin is more sensitive to the sun while you are taking Novatretin and it is also too sensitive to use a solarium and sun bed.
  • Do not have overly hot showers. Very hot showers can irritate your skin.

What Can I Do To Ease The Side Effects ?

The most common side effect of Novatretin, dryness, is relatively easy to treat. The following section contains a list of products that can be used to relieve dryness. If you notice anything unusual about your skin or anything that concerns you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about it. It is a good idea to write down anything you notice or any questions you have for your doctor. The Notes section at the end of this booklet is a good place to do this.

What Products Can I Use To Ease The Side Effects ?

Dry Skin

Dry skin is the most common side effect of Novatretin treatment. You can expect your skin to become drier all over your body. To help protect your skin it is best to keep your showers shorter than two minutes if possible and use luke warm water rather than hot water.

Face Cleansers

These cleansers are designed for use on the face. You should only use cleansers that are intended for use on sensitive skin.

Products you could try are: Innoxa Sensitivity Gentle Cleansing Milk, Cetaphil Lotion and Avene
Extremely Gentle Cleanser.

Body Cleansers

Body cleansers should not be used on the face, unless they are also included in the Face Cleansers section. It is better for your skin if you try to avoid soaps and use one of the cleansers listed in this section.

Products you could try are: QV Bath Oil, QV Bar, QV Wash, Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser, Hamiltons Mild Foam Wash and Dove Soap.

Face Moisturisers

Using a moisturiser on your face regularly will help keep the dryness that may be seen with Novatretin treatment under control. The best type of moisturiser is one designed for sensitive skin.

Products you could try are: QV Lotion and Avene Skin Recovery Cream.

Body Moisturisers

To keep your skin in good condition you should use a moisturising lotion on your whole body.
Even if you don’t seem to have any dryness, prevention is always better than cure. For extremely dry areas use a cream, rather than a lotion.

Products you could try are: QV Skin Lotion, QV Cream, Hydraderm Lotion, Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion, Hamilton Dry Skin Treatment.

Dry lips

Your lips are particularly sensitive to the drying effects of Novatretin. This makes it important to look after them well. This can be achieved very simply by applying a lip balm regularly. By applying a lip balm every one to two hours you can prevent your lips from becoming dry and cracked. Make sure you also pay attention to the corners of your mouth, this area is prone to cracking. A lip balm that contains a sunscreen is best. You should carry a tube of lip balm with you during the day. You should see your local doctor if your lips become very cracked or begin
bleeding.

Products you could try are: QV Lip Balm, Vaseline Lip Therapy, Lip Sed, Blistex, Hamilton Lipz Lip Ointment and Avene Lip Balm with Cold Cream.

Dry Nose

The inside of your nose can also become dry while you are taking Novatretin. If this becomes severe it can result in nosebleeds. To keep the inside of your nose moist you should apply a small amount of petroleum jelly a few times a day using a cotton bud. If you suffer from persistent nose bleeds or your nose bleeds are difficult to stop, you will need to see your pharmacist or your doctor. Severe nose bleeds can be treated with prescription products.

Dry Eyes

If you find that your eyes feel dry or sore then you may need to use eye-drops to keep them moist. Dry eyes can be a particular problem for people who wear contact lenses or people who work in air-conditioned areas. If you wear contact lenses you may find that you cannot wear your contact lenses for as long as you did before starting on Novatretin.

For dry eyes, products you could try are (if you wear contact lenses check with your optometrist to make sure that these products are suitable): Allergan Tears Plus, Allergan Liquifilm Tears, Alcon Tears Naturale, Alcon Poly-Tears, Alcon Bion Tears and Allergan Lacri-Lube Ointment (this is an overnight eye moisturising ointment) and Vismed Lubricant eyedrops.

Sun Care

Novatretin will make your skin more sensitive to the sun. You will need to make sure that you are well protected from the sun. You should not sunbathe, even with a sunscreen, or use a solarium. The best way to do this is to cover up as much as possible, wear a hat with a brim and wear a sunscreen, preferably one with a 30+ sun protection factor. The best sunscreens are oil free and alcohol free.

Products you could try are: SunSense Sport Sunscreen SPF 30+, SunSense Daily Face Matt Sunscreen SPF 30+, Aquasun SPF 30+ and Avene Very High Protective Sunscreen SPF30+, Hamilton Sunscreen Milk SPF 30+ and Hamilton Everyday Face Sunscreen SPF 30+.

Dry Hair and Dandruff

If you find that your scalp and hair are drier than usual you may need to use a mild shampoo designed for dry hair. You should use a conditioner to help protect your hair and scalp. You should avoid using hair dyes, especially dyes containing peroxide, as they may make your hair and scalp drier and can cause irritation.

If dandruff becomes a problem you should use a medicated antidandruff shampoo. You could try the following shampoo products for dry hair and dandruff: Ketoconazole Shampoo, DermaVeen Oatmeal Shampoo, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Galderma Ionil-T Shampoo, and Ducray Extra Gentle Shampoo.

Dry Vagina

You may find that your vagina is dry and this may cause pain during sexual intercourse.
You can use DP Lubricating Gel or K-Y Jelly to help relieve this problem.

Dry Anus

You may experience some dryness and irritation around the anus. You can help relieve and reduce this problem by applying petroleum jelly several times a day.

Cosmetics

Makeup can sometimes aggravate your condition but if you choose your products carefully you can still wear makeup if you want to.

Powders

Most powders are suitable for use while taking Novatretin.

Lipsticks

All lipsticks are suitable for use while taking Novatretin. The best lipsticks to use are those that contain sunscreens. It is also a good idea to wear a lip balm under your lipstick, because this will provide better protection for your lips.

Lip Balms

A lip balm that contains a sunscreen is best. You should carry a tube of lip balm with you during the day.

Products you could try are: QV Lip Balm, Vaseline Lip Therapy, Lip Sed, Blistex, Hamilton Lipz Lip Ointment and Avene Lip Balm with Cold Cream.