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Retin A For Treatment of Acne

Retin A
(Tretinoin)
(skin cream, liquid, or gel)


What Does Tretinoin Cream, Liquid, Or Gel Do?
Tretinoin (AvitaTM, Renova, Retin-A, Retin-A MicroTM), or trans-retinoic acid, is a naturally occurring form of vitamin A. It is applied to the skin as a cream, liquid, or gel to treat mild to moderate acne. Generic tretinoin cream and liquid are available.


What Should My Health Care Professional Know Before I Use Tretinoin?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions: eczema, sunburn, an unusual or allergic reaction to tretinoin, vitamin A, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives, pregnant or trying to get pregnant, and breast-feeding.


How Should I Use This Medicine?
  • Tretinoin is for external use only-- do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label.
  • Make sure the skin is clean and dry.
  • Apply just enough liquid, gel, or cream to cover the affected area.
  • Rub in gently.
  • When using the liquid, use your fingers or a cotton swab or gauze pad to dab the liquid onto the affected area.
  • To avoid dripping the liquid onto areas that do not need treatment, do not soak the cotton or gauze.

What If I Miss A Dose?
If you miss a dose, skip that dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not use extra doses, or use for a longer period of time than directed by your prescriber or health care professional. Too much tretinoin can cause skin damage.


What Other Medicines Can Interact With Tretinoin?
Benzoyl Peroxide: sometimes prescribed for use with Tretinoin.

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other skin preparations, (prescription and nonprescription) you are using. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check before stopping or starting any of your medicines.


What Side Effects May I Notice From Using Tretinoin?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible: burning, itching, crusting, or swelling of the treated areas and darkening or lightening of the treated areas.

Side erects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome): increased sensitivity to the sun, mild stinging, red, inflamed, and irritated skin, (the skin may peel after a few days).


What Do I Need To Watch For While I Use Tretinoin?
  • Your acne may get worse during the first treatment period and should then start to improve. It may take 2 to 12 weeks before you see the fill beneficial effect.
  • Do not wash your face more than 2 or 3 times a day, unless told to by your prescriber or health care professional.
  • Do not use the following products on the same areas that you are treating with tretinoin, unless otherwise directed by your prescriber or health care professional:
    • medicated cosmetics
    • cosmetics that dry the skin (especially products that contain alcohol)b
    • abrasive soaps or cleaners
    • any other acne preparation or skin treatment.
  • If you use these products in combination with tretinoin they can cause severe skin irritation. You can use non-medicated cosmetics (unless your prescriber or health care professional tells you not to); wash the skin well before applying tretinoin.
  • Use Tretinoin at night. Tretinoin can increase sensitivity of the skin to sun or UV light. Keep out of the sun, or wear protective clothing outdoors and use a sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher). Do not use sun lamps or sun tanning beds or booths.
  • Tretinoin products can catch fire. Keep away from lighted matches, cigarettes and other naked flames.
  • Do not get tretinoin in the eyes, inside the nose, on wounds, or any other sensitive areas of skin.

Where Can I Keep My Medicine?
  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store the liquid and gel at room temperature below 86 degrees F, and the cream below 80 degrees F; and do not freeze.
  • Keep away from heat and flame.
  • Protect from light.

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