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Tretinoin creams or gels

BMJ Group Medical Reference

Tretinoin is a retinoid (a treatment that's related to vitamin A). It comes as a cream or gel that you put on your skin.

Lots of beauty products contain vitamin A (sometimes called retinol). But the form of vitamin A in beauty products is much milder than tretinoin. Tretinoin is available only on prescription from a doctor. The brand name is Retin-A.

Lots of studies show that creams containing tretinoin improve the appearance of fine wrinkles. [17] [18] But some of the studies were small, didn't last very long, or had other problems that make the results less reliable.

You need to use tretinoin regularly for three months to six months. [17]

Like other retinoids, tretinoin can irritate your skin. [17] [18] You may notice redness, itching, or stinging at first. But these side effects soon go away. Some people notice dry or peeling skin that peaks after about three months and lasts until you stop using the tretinoin cream.

Tretinoin can make your skin burn in the sun faster than normal. [19] You need to avoid the sun or wear sunscreen while you're using tretinoin. And don't put the cream or gel on sunburnt skin. Ask your doctor for advice about using this treatment safely.

If you're pregnant, using tretinoin could harm your baby. [19] If there's a chance you could become pregnant, make sure you use contraception.


For references related to Wrinkles click here.
Last Updated: June 21, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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