Tretinoin (On the skin)
Antiacne, Dermatological Agent (About this – PubMed Health)
Uses of This Medicine
One of the tretinoin creams is used to treat fine wrinkles, dark spots, or rough skin on the face caused by damaging rays of the sun. It works by lightening the skin, replacing older skin with newer skin, and by slowing down the way the body removes skin cells that may have been harmed by the sun. Tretinoin works best when used within a skin care program that includes protecting the treated skin from the sun. However, it does not completely or permanently erase these skin problems or greatly improve more obvious changes in the skin, such as deep wrinkles caused by sun or the natural aging process.
Tretinoin may also be used to treat other skin diseases as determined by your doctor.
Tretinoin is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, tretinoin is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
Keratosis follicularis (skin disorder of small, red bumps)
Verruca plana (flat warts)
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Cream, Gel/Jelly, Liquid
Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to apply and how often. Do not use more medicine or apply it more often than your doctor tells you to.
This medicine is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, mouth, nose, or the creases alongside your nose. Do not use on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away. Do not use this medicine if you have a sunburn, eczema, or other skin problems.
Wash your skin with mild soap and warm water and gently pat it dry. Allow your skin to dry for 20 to 30 minutes before applying this medicine.
Do not wash your face or put on make-up for at least 1 hour after applying this medicine. You may need to apply a skin moisturizer in the morning.
You may need to use this medicine for several weeks or months before your skin starts to look better. Applying extra medicine will not make it work faster.
For the cream or gel, apply a thin layer to the affected skin area. Rub it in gently. The medicine should become invisible right away. After about a minute, if you can still see the medicine or if the medicine dries and flakes off, then you are using too much.
Apply the liquid using your fingertip, a gauze pad, or a cotton swab. Carefully pour out the liquid. Avoid getting it on other skin areas.
If a dose is missed:
If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:
Store the medicine at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, fire, and direct light. Do not freeze. Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicines that may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, such as diuretics or “water pills” (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, Hyzaar®), an antibiotic (such as Cipro®, tetracycline), a sulfa drug, or phenothiazines (such as Compazine®, Phenergan®, Serentil®, Thorazine®).
Do not use any other medicines or acne treatments on the treated skin areas without asking your doctor. Avoid using any skin care products that can dry or irritate your skin. These include rough skin cleansers or products that contain alcohol, spices, or lime.
Do not use lotion, wax, electrolysis, or laser treatment to remove hair on any treated skin areas. Avoid medicated shampoo (such as dandruff shampoo) and chemical hair treatments (such as perms or dye).
When Not To Use
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to tretinoin.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have eczema or other skin problems.
Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, wind, and cold weather. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds. You may need to wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves and a hat.
The gel form of this medicine is flammable. Do not smoke while you are using this medicine. Always keep the medicine away from fire, flames, or high heat.
You may feel minor warmth, stinging, or burning briefly while applying this medicine.
During the first 3 to 6 weeks of using this medicine, your acne may seem to get worse. This means the medicine is working, and it is important that you keep using it.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
Changes in the color of your skin that has been treated with the medicine
Mild skin dryness, itching, peeling, or redness
Skin warmth, stinging, or burning that continues or gets worse
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
Atralin, Avita, DermaPak Plus, Refissa, Rejuva-A, Renova, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Stieva-A Cream, Stieva-A Cream Forte, Stieva-A Gel, Stieva-A Solution, Tretin-X, Vitamin A Acid
There may be other brand names for this medicine.