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Tretinoin (Retin-A)

Topic Overview

Tretinoin (Avita, Renova, Retin-A) is a topical medicine most often used to treat acne. It is sometimes used to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and to smooth rough facial skin. Tretinoin is made from vitamin A and is sometimes called vitamin A acid or retinoic acid. It comes in cream, gel, and liquid forms.

Side effects of tretinoin include dryness, excessive redness, and peeling of the skin. It may also increase your sensitivity to sunlight and make you more likely to get sunburned. Be sure to protect your skin from exposure to the sun (or any other source of UV light) by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing.

Using topical tretinoin during pregnancy may not be safe for your baby. Tretinoin can also affect breast milk. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, make sure your doctor knows before prescribing tretinoin for you.

Credits

Current as of: March 3, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Keith A. Denkler MD - Plastic Surgery

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