Tretinoin in Acne Treatment

Tretinoin is used in treating mild-to-moderate acne. It promotes shedding of dead skin cells and unclogs pores. It controls acne, but may not cure acne completely. FDA approved topical Tretinoin in 1971.

Tretinoin is the generic term, Retin-A, Avita Cream and Renova are brand names. It increases the turnover of cells. In patients with acne, new cells replace the cells of existing pimples, and the rapid turnover of cells prevents new pimples from forming.

It is available in the form of topical liquid, cream, and gel. It usually is used daily or once every 2 or 3 days. Do not use more or less than prescribed by your doctor. Your acne might get worse during the first few days. However, continuous use will improve your acne condition within 2-3 weeks.

The common side effects of tretinoin are

  • warmth or slight stinging of the skin
  • lightening or darkening of the skin
  • redness and dryness
  • scaling skin
  • increase in acne sores
  • swelling, blistering, or crusting of the skin

Do not use any other topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or dandruff shampoos containing sulfur or resorcinol.

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