The generic version of the acne drug Retin-A is called topical tretinoin. A prescription is needed to purchase topical tretinoin in the United States. Adapalene (Differin) is the only over-the-counter (OTC) retinoid medicine available.

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Usually, retinoin is used to treat skin imperfections that are difficult to remove. Before attempting to cure your acne with tretinoin, discover out what you should know by reading on.

advantages of tretinoin use for acne

Tretinoin is a kind of vitamin A that belongs to the retinoid family. Your skin’s cell turnover is stimulated by retinoid. As new skin cells emerge, old skin cells are removed from your skin more quickly.

Accelerated cell turnover facilitates pore opening and the release of irritants and trapped germs that are the cause of your acne.

Additionally, retinoin and other retinoid derivatives assist your skin control the production of sebum, or natural oil, which can stop breakouts in the future. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory qualities help to soothe pustules associated with aggressive acne.

For wrinkles, use Tretinoin

Tretinoin’s effect on the outward signs of aging has been the subject of much research.

There have been both short- and long-term effects of retinoic acid cream on wrinkle appearance.

Tretinoin for scars from acne

Another way to lessen the look of acne scars is to use retinoin. Tretinoin can promote the creation of new skin cells when scars are present because it increases the rate at which skin cells turnover occurs.

Numerous types of retinoid have been successfully investigated as a treatment for acne scarring. In certain cases, retinoin is also used to prepare the skin for scar-targeting chemical peel procedures.

Side effects of retinol

Side effects are possible while using tretinoin for acne. Not every person will encounter every side effect, and some can be more serious than others. Among the potential negative effects are:

skin that is scorching or itching

redness or peeling of the skin

odd skin dryness

It feels warm to the touch on your skin.

The area of your skin that was treated with tretinoin becomes paler.

When taking tretinoin for acne, the benefits may not show up for up to 12 weeks. Consult a physician or other healthcare provider if using it seems to be irritating your skin to determine whether your symptoms are typical for tretinoin use.

It is not advised for anyone who is nursing or pregnant to use tretinoin.

Take additional precautions when it comes to your sun exposure when using tretinoin. The skin might be sun sensitive for the first few weeks or longer, which increases the risk of sunburn and sun damage due to reduced sebum production and skin cell turnover.

When venturing outside, don’t forget to apply sunscreen and think about taking further precautions like donning a hat with a brim.

Retinoids can have significant adverse effects; if you think you’re having an allergic response, stop taking them right away and see a doctor.

Interactions between drugs

Together with tretinoin, other topical acne treatments may increase adverse effects like burning on your face or irritate your skin.

When taking tretinoin, stay away from using additional topical skin treatments (such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or products containing sulfur) unless they’re part of a plan you’ve discussed with your doctor.

Additionally, stay away from anything that dry up your skin, such alcohol-based cleansers and astringents.

How to treat acne with tretinoin

To begin using tretinoin for acne, look for a cream or gel that has a small percentage (0.025 percent) of the active component. Once your skin adjusts to the therapy, you can gradually increase the dosage if necessary.

To use tretinoin in a safe and efficient manner:

Before using any topical acne medicine, thoroughly cleanse your face with warm water and pat dry. Before using any lotion or cream on your face, wash your hands. Before applying the medicine, give your skin a few minutes to totally dry up.

Just enough medicine should be used to softly cover the afflicted region. It’s not necessary to apply a lot of medicine on your face. You should just need a dime-sized quantity of the drug to cover your entire face.

Spread the drug away from delicate parts like your lips, nose, and eyes using the tips of your fingers. Gently massage the cream or gel onto your face, allowing it to soak fully.

Use tretinoin once at bedtime for optimal benefits. In this manner, it can fully penetrate into your skin as you sleep and reduce exposure to sunlight. It is advisable to avoid wearing makeup in the hours just after this procedure.

Discuss prescription-strength tretinoin or other treatment alternatives with a dermatologist (a skin specialist) if, after 8 to 12 weeks, you still don’t observe any change in your skin.


Tretinoin is a long-term, efficient acne therapy. Studies indicate that it promotes cell turnover, which can help cure outbreaks, level out skin tone, and lessen the visibility of acne scars, however it may not be effective for everyone.

In the first few weeks of therapy, Tretinoin may make acne worse, but after a few weeks, you should start to see improvements.