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What is tretinoin topical?

Prescription tretinoin is the only topical agent approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the appearance of fine lines, age spots, uneven pigmentation, and other signs of photoaging. It also helps treat acne.

Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A. It promotes the formation of healthy new skin in the dermis, revealing smoother, less blemished, more even-looking skin. It also lightens skin, thereby reducing the appearance of age spots and uneven skin pigmentation. Trade names of tretinoin include:
  • Retin-A
  • Retin-A MICRO
  • Renova
  • Avita

Similar medications containing active ingredients that also are derived from vitamin A include Tazorac and Differin.

These prescription creams come with benefits and risks that should be discussed with a healthcare provider. Some potential side effects of tretinoin treatment include redness, irritation, and increased sun sensitivity.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.