Retin-A safe to use for psf sufferes?

I want to use tretinoin for topical anti-acne treatment. Is it safe? Because accutane can cause sexual side effects as well but I doubt the absorption via skin will be high enough to cause any amount of substantial serum levels.

I personally use topical tretinoin; have been for 15 years. I don’t think the concentration is high enough to cause problems. I don’t think it is like finasteride where tiny amounts can have big effects. Also you already have retinoic acid naturally since it is a metabolite of vitamin A. Plus I am already fucked with zero libido so I don’t care.

Personally I wouldn’t use anything even topical also stay away from anything with azalic acid its a 5AR inhibitor, I crashed using a topical shampoo and would have never thought it would damage me as much as it has.

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Can you name the shampoo?

Regenepure DR that’s what got me here I’m really messed up from that stuff, it contains ketokonzale and saw palmetto I used it 3 times a week for 3 years worst mistake of my life.


Thanks Aaron.

In August of 2019 I had PFS but hadn’t fully realized it yet. I knew something was up with my skin though, and so I dermarolled weekly to induce collagen. Whenever I would apply retin-a after dermarolling, a few hours after, skin still open, I would feel significantly better in the days following. Not just in the skin where I dermarolled, but my hair would also have collagen return to it. In hindsight though, name a PFS symptom, it got better, I remember feeling much more emotional and euphoric feelings in response to music, etc. I remember fapping and seeing hair fall out during that time, something that does not happen in baseline PFS.

I believe this to be another example of the on-off effect that many have, where they take an anti-androgenic substance and feel better in the following days. In fact, that behavior parallels the “crash” we get after quitting our drugs, just on a much smaller level.

Iam currently using Retin-a aka tretinoin on my skin and I am quite sure that my sexual function gotten worse. The only question is if its because of that.

I was cured 90%, now Iam back to 60-70% in that state. We will see. I have acne und it seems that all medications that reduce acne are acutally 5ARs, azelaic acid, retinoids, etc. I was using adapalen (3rd generation retinoid) the enitre last 6 months and I think it decreased my baseline.

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For acne, take cold showers and see what that does.

If acne does not improve then I guess your could try glycolic acid, I read a study that says it has no anti androgenic activity.

I also notice 5ars crash me, I’ve gotten worsened temporarily by deodorant and cologne.

little update:
Iam still not sure whether tretinoin has a negative effet on me. I was using it everyotherday. It is very hard to distinguish between diet, and other factors. I will now pause the treatment and see if I get back to my baseline because now I kinda have a fin dick again.

@hopeless94 any update??

I use tretinoin 0.1% and it does not affect me in any negative way.

Still not sure. Iam using 0.1% adapalene at the moment. I have moderate to severe acne and obviously I dont wanna hop on isotretinoin as someone who developed PFS.

I did the research and the systemic absorption from topical retinoids seems neglible. But there are people who reported harm from topical agents. Therefore I will be switching to trifarotene, which has binds only to those retinoid receptors in the skin, whereas most other retinoids also bind to RAR-beta which is also present in the prostate. I dont know how relevant that is, but I want to make sure.

Stop putting value in how you look. Stop seeking medication to look “better”. Remember, that’s what got you on this forum in the first place.

For acne, avoid dairy, avoid stress (Wim Hof breathing and meditation are good for this), and do cold showers a few times a week. This will improve your acne in the long term. Tretinoin only improves it in the short term.

No extremely rare and not official reported side effects put me here.

Tretinoin works as long as you use it.

I tried retinol for 6 months since i have rly bad issue with facial skin( sleeping wrinkles all over whole face…) it worsened my skin massivily. My second biggest mistake. Id not fuck with it

There is a member of one of the post-Accutane groups on facebook who says she got “PAS” after using Retin-A or some other generic topical tretinoin product.

It’s worth considering that 38% of tretinoin was converted into isotretinoin (Accutane) by UV light in a study using cadaver skin and this percentage may be much higher in live skin due to active isomerase enzyme activity.

Lehman, Paul A., and Andrew M. Malany. “Evidence for Percutaneous Absorption of Isotretinoin from the Photo-Isomerization of Topical Tretinoin.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology , vol. 93, no. 5, Nov. 1989, pp. 595–99. ScienceDirect ,

…A link to full text doesn’t appear to be available.

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I was using 0.1% adapalen since late december and it cleared pretty much my acne. There are not many medical interventions for acne, either its retinoids or anti-androgen substances like azelaic acid. To my mind only topical antibiotic and BPO are seem to be completly safe and have decent efficacy.

Although I didnt notice any changed in sexual functions and I think there might be an influence. So I have stopped for over one week and now Iam using it again to see if it causing any problems.

Nonetheless I will probaly stop regardless of it.

The thing is, retinoids ARE anti-androgenic at the doses/concentrations used therapeutically for skin conditions.

This is true of isotretinoin, tretinoin, alitretinoin, and the carotenoid, astaxanthin.

Simply being an agonist of retinoic acid receptors exerts an anti-androgenic effect via upregulation of FOXO1.


Yeah but to what extend? Systemic absorption seems very low, unlikely that topical retinoids result in hormonal changes that are even detectable. This is just another PFS mystery that we are hypersensitive to anti-androgens.

my last hope is trifarotene. its an retinoid that was designed to have a low systemic effect. It only binds onto one specific retinoid receptor.