Tretinoin belongs to a series of special drugs to treat the layers of the stratum corneum , that is, the outermost part of the epidermis, which is often made up of dead cells and epidermal lipids.

Therefore, in this article we will learn about the functions that this medication has for certain skin disorders , including the opposite effects that may occur and in which cases it is contraindicated.

What is tretinoin?

Tretinoin is a generic drug and a natural active metabolite, which comes directly from vitamin A, whose mechanism of action is to stimulate collagen in the dermis and has an anti-inflammatory or thinning effect on the skin layers.

The presentations of tretinoin, is in cream or gel application and capsules of 100 mg of the active ingredient, whose route of administration is oral for the capsules. For the cream or gel, application doses of 1 to 2 times a day and 1 time at night are recommended, while the use of the capsule only depends on the doctor’s prescription.

Note: A study mentions that: ” The penetration after the topical application of the treatment of tretinoin and retinoids depends on the skin area in which it is administered and the type of galenic formulation, being higher for solutions” . (1)

What is tretinoin used for?

This medicine and facial cream is used specifically for skin treatments, in many cases it requires a prescription since the skin can become more delicate and unprotected, which makes its use unfavorable. But in general, it is recommended for these cases:

1. Acne and fine wrinkles 

Acne is very common and results in a common skin disorder where black or whiteheads grow, which are made from a buildup of oils (or sebum) and dead cells in the layers of the skin. For this, the application of tretinoin cream is prescribed once a day, half an hour after washing the face.

To highlight: Tretinoin is also recommended for cases of fine wrinkles , which are usually formed by a lack of collagen, by making facial expressions that contribute to the formation of wrinkles and also by trying to exploit acne pimples.

2. Rough skin and dark spots

Tretinoin is recommended for rough skin, which is the result of prolonged dry skin, because the dermal layer begins to crack , become inflamed, and can become brittle and highly irritated.

You should know: Dark spots or hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, are a case where the body produces less melanin (the substance that provides color pigments to various parts of the human body), which is caused by certain hormonal changes or also by a Excessive contact with the sun ‘s ultraviolet rays .

Tretinoin Side Effects

Both tretinoin in tablets and in cream have certain adverse reactions, of which you must be well informed in order to suspend their use in case of presenting them and see your doctor if the following reactions occur:

  • Greater dryness on the skin.
  • Sensitivity in the epidermis.
  • redness.
  • Scaly skin.

Note: One study mentions this information: “ This medication contains sorbitol. If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product . (two)

contraindications of tretinoin

Lastly, this drug is contraindicated for a limited number of patients, since it can present several negative effects to people, due to various external agents that cause conditions. Therefore, the use of tretinoin is limited in the following cases:

  • Hypersensitivity to vitamin A derivatives.
  • Open wounds.
  • severe liver disease
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Important: A medical study mentions that: “The less tretinoin and retinol is used on the skin of a pregnant mother, the less likely there are risks to the baby” . (3)

Key Findings

  • Tretinoin is a medicine derived from vitamin A naturally. 
  • Tretinoin is available as a cream or gel for topical application , as well as tablets for oral administration.
  • It is essential to treat acne and also works as a treatment for wrinkles. 
  • Tretinoin can cause certain side effects such as redness and dryness. 
  • The use of tretinoin is not recommended for pregnant women, in case of hypersensitivity or open wounds.

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