Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

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Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:06 pm

Hi everyone I'm new to the forum, I'm 22, male from the UK. I started using retina-a 0.05% in August 2013 for 3 months and after around 2 months of using it I noticed a lot of fat had been lost from my face. I had not dietary or lifestyle changes and my body hasn't lost weight, so it looks to be completely attributed to taking retin-a. I applied a very small amount, less than a pea sized amount every other night. My face now just looks sunken and I look very thin and ill, when before I looked very athletic.

Is there anyone else who has mentioned they've experienced fat loss from using Retin-A? I know of a lot who have from IPL but not from retin-a so am a little confused. I just am so down at the moment and would really like to hear if this is possible from retain-a and if its reversible.

(I also experienced a lot of scarring and open pores but the fat loss is the worst part of it as I just don't look like me anymore.)
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by RW39 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:27 am

It is most likely collagen loss and not fat loss. I wouldn't think retin-a would be able to cause fat loss as there is no way a cream could penetrate that far. What you see is probably an extreme loss of a collagen. Most likely reversible but it will take long and hard work. Eat healthy and baby your face, and obviously, no more retinoid. I found that a high dose of vitamin c temporarily shrinks my pores...but before it shrinks the pores my skin goes through a weird inflamed-like reaction but that passes quick and my pores do seem smaller each time i megadose.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:07 pm

Thanks for your reply. I suppose it may be collagen loss, though I just didnt think collagen was so thick within the skin, as my face just looks so much thinner that it did. I still suspect it is fat loss, and think with IPL lasers the fat loss isn't actually caused by the laser hitting the fat, but rather too much inflammation around this skin tissue that it affects the way the fat communicates with the skin. But I'll definately assume its collagen loss and try to build collagen too.

Is there any supplements or topical that build collagen? I am currently using emu oil. I heard of someone on this forum who said their skin plumped up using Psorisa Gold and she apparently posted before and after photos, but I can't find the link.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by RW39 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:11 pm

Psoria gold for sure helps. it definitely gets inflammation down...it being a collagen builder i am not sure.
Honestly, the best thing for collagen is diet. Lots of fruits means lots of vitamin c, and lots of vitamin c means collagen production. You can try and supplement with vitamin c as I've said, but its better when it directly comes from food. I tried something called "Great Lakes Gelatin" that someone on the rosacea forum with laser damage recommended (since i cannot cook bone broth), it does plump my skin up...But the problem with it is that i become an oil slick and i break out. But if you aren't really prone to acne you can go for that...but don't blame me if you get pimples.

Everyone on this forum has different things that work, and unfortunately some have not found that one thing yet...or even worse, there is nothing. Whether it be fillers, fat grafts, psoria gold, diet, enzymes, exercise, cerave, not putting ANYTHING on their skin, etc, everyone tries something.

For me, i can definitely say a clean diet really helps, as does exercising and sweating. The psoriagold stopped helping me at around month 7, and i found out about it at month 5 after ipl damage. Really sucks that i could have used it sooner.

Like you Json, I am a young guy too. And as evidence has showed here on the board, there is hope for some of us young ones...And i know since your face is skinny you will be hesitant to drop foods for a clean diet...I've been there done that. i've had that feeling. But even with a clean diet low on carbs, you can still maintain your regular weight. My face was very skinny at around 7 months out but i did notice it has gotten a tad better (not great by any means) now at month 15. More round and less angular. Hope for improvement is the only thing that keeps me going. It's sad because a lot of this time and dedication could be devoted to my academics. But i guess thats life.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:32 pm

thanks for the great advice. may I ask what the cause of your skin problems?
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by RW39 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:42 pm

IPL. completely messed up my physique and threw me into a depression.....the worst part was, things went well one to two months after treatment. but then things went downhill, right in the middle of sophmore year at college.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:40 pm

My brother had 5 IPL session earlier this year to get rid of some acne scars, he's 19. It made his face look a little unhealthy in parts and made the scars worse. Just shows IPL lasers shouldn't be given to young people. Just He's on a low dose actuate now to try and help it, but he didn't get any fat or collagen loss, which is odd - I use small amounts of a cream and get a ton of collagen/ fat loss- still don't know which of the 2 it is. As I took quite a lot of photos of myself in the Photo Booth app on my mac before using retin-A so I have a lot of photos to compare over time and theres definitely areas which have flattened where fat used to be.

Im considering trying to put weight on and do a weightlifting routine as I read some studies showing weightlifting causes fat remodelling in the face, and a lot of people on body building forums say their face gets chubbier once they started weightlifting and taking whey protein, which happened to me a few years back. Collagen is protein, so I think taking high amounts of protein may cause the some to be stored as collagen in the skin. That or weightlifting triggers extra fat to be deposited to the face to make the body look promotional.

Another theory I have is that retain-a and lasers affect people more who look young for their age, as from looking at photos of IPL and retin-a damage from many different people they all looked attractive and young, but were perhaps a little overly vain. So i think the genetics that are responsible for many people age at a lower rate and generally making their skin better than the average person, just cannot tolerate high amounts of inflammation as its achilles heel.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by RW39 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:40 pm

Yea, from what I've read on this board, many people who have overall "volume loss" have a hard time distinguishing b/w whether it is collagen or fat. I've read that fat loss presents itself in depressions and dents (which I luckily do not have)...but no one really knows exactly what it is. No doctor can ever confirm anything bc they are so attached to the money behind these things. I am convinced i have collagen loss because every now and then my face decides to plump up for at least a day or 2. But it always goes back down for a week after. If my eyes weren't so hollow I'd look a whole lot better. I guess it some sort of improvement because at the very beginning i wasn't even having "good days" like i have been recently.

I was thinking about getting into weight lifting. Just never want to go to the gym unless its empty. I guess if things dont progress, the gym would be another thing to add to my routine.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:35 pm

yeah it sounds odd how your face plumps up and goes back again- do you think it could be different light sources, or different weather outside giving different skin appearances? I think it'd be unusual to have collagen increase, and then quickly go again. Maybe its just gradually increasing- have a look at some before pics to compare- i find it easier to look rotate the photos upside down on my PC as I can analyse them without perceiving my face, so I'm not so super critical, if that makes sense.

What do you mean by hollow eyes? Could you send me a pic of just your eye area?
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by RW39 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:04 am

yea when i have time i'll direct message you a picture or something. hollow eyes just means fat loss/collagen loss around the eyes...giving you a tired appearance and sometimes dark circles. if you google it you can see what i'm talking about. Some people on this board actually complained about their eyes sinking back (a phenomenon that happens when you get very old or are on meth) but you dont have to worry about that as the retin-a wouldnt be able to physically do that.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:08 pm

ah i see thanks. no need to send a photo. I'm still tempted by fat transfer but still am wary of it looking unnatural. Ill probably just put on more weight and muscle to see if it helps. Also people with severe fat loss could just put on a tonne of weight, and then have lipo if their body is too big- would end up looking more natural than fat transfer ever could with zero chance of it going wrong. just a thought.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by RW39 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:25 pm

many people have tried putting on a lot of weight, but none went to their face. when the fat cells are destroyed, fat can't be made there. And if you are 22 years old i'd for sure hold up on a fat graft...not sure of a surgeon would be willing to do it anyhow.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by taija82 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:56 pm

Has anyone experienced fatloss only under one eye? I'm increasily aware that I have much bigger bag/hollowness under right eye than what I have in the left, the skin bunches up more on that side when I smile and is evident especially when I'm wearing a cap, somehow the shade if the cap accentuates my under eyes and the hollowness is very noticeable on right side. I think I've had a bit less there before but only minimal but now it's quite noticeably and makes my under eyes look a different pair. Weird thing is when I touch my under eyes they seem like there's still fat left but I have very full round face with big cheeks and I think losing a little fat makes it look hollowed even if I have fat face.

Also I had juvederm put in my tearthroughs and mid cheek depressions over three- four years ago, but I can still see the filler at times when the lighting is right, could that still be the actual filler or did it cause a bit of scar tissue? When they were put in I could feel they were differently put under each eye but they looked good for a long time so I didn't worry but now I can see hollowness and the groove of where filler was put.

Surprise surprise both laser and fillers were done by same doc sigh I feel my face is so deformed of course others don't see it that way which is good but it bothers me. I want fillers again but I'm so scared now that they get done wrong or that they cause more trouble for me. I feel my facial structure is just very unforgiving and I have to live with these grooves and hollows and bad skin
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:14 pm

@RW39 - My face still has fat on it though, so its not like all fat cells have died off, so I don see how putting on weight would be an issue. Also, has anyone else on this forum reported fat loss from retin-a, and if so could you add a link ?
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:16 pm

@RW39 and also I'm not sure what your saying? You're saying I should hold off on a fat graft, and don't think anyone would do it on someone at my age anyway, and you're saying i can't rebuild fat with weight gain? So that doesn't leave me with many options?
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by RW39 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:23 pm

best option right now is to wait it out is all i can say...i just dont think a surgeon would perform a fat graft on you just yet. You can ask other people on the forum though.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:33 pm

Ok thanks Ill hold off on a fat transfer. I'll put on a little weight, around a stone, to see if I notice any extra fat on my face. I read someone on another thread said "Bluebuzz has posted pics of her collagen plumping up again with psoria gold." But I couldn't find the photos- do you know where these photos were posted ?
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Json881 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:35 pm

Hey RW39, I've just been doing some more research and analysis, and I think this is what happened:

The retina-a caused far too much inflammation for my skin, resulting a sort of destruction and consumption of skin tissue, causing the epidermis to thin and collagen in the dermis to be destroyed resulted in a thinning dermis too. Due to the now much thinner skin its now likely that retin-a can pass through the skin and reach the fat cells below the dermis, resulting in some fat loss too, although its still not clear to me how much of the loss of volume is due to the thinned epidermis and dermis, or fat loss.

But I do think you were right in thing that most of the volume was caused by collagen loss. I still believe the cause of damage I received from retin-a is the same in terms of biochemistry in what causes damage from IPL. I'll be doing more research to try and figure out how the skin can be repaired so that the collagen in the dermis can be built up again. I'm currently taking Psoria Gold but I just don't know how that will help anymore since there is no more inflammation. I heard someone on this forum posted pictures of her face plumping up from Psoria Gold and asked on another thread is someone could post a link to those pictures but haven't got a reply.

Others have seen an increase in collagen from emu oil, so may go back to using that.
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Re: Confused about fat loss from using retin-a

PostPosted by Leasy » Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:22 pm

I believe I am experiencing the same problem as you Jason. From microdermabrasion followed by Retin-a. I didn't have any lasers done but have all the same symptoms... Including the fat loss (dent in cheek that wasn't there before). I am two months in..
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