What Are the Benefits of Tretinoin Cream?

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In Search of Beautiful Skin
In Search of Beautiful Skin (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Nicole Makauskas)

Like Retin-A, Tretinoin is a Vitamin A derivative and is used to treat acne as well as skin discoloration from old acne scars. Each gram of Tretinoin gel contains Tretinoin in either of two strengths, 0.025% (0.25 mg) or 0.01% (0.1 mg). Each gram of Tretinoin cream contains Tretinoin in either of three strengths, 0.1% (1 mg), 0.05% (0.5 mg) or 0.025% (0.25 mg).

How It Works

Tretinoin reduces the tendency of skin cells to stick together (which is a primary cause of acne) while increasing cell-turnover (which means faster healing).

Applications

In addition to treating acne, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved Tretinoin for the treatment of wrinkles and other signs of skin aging due to tretinoin's ability to boost collagen production and smooth the skin.

Absorption

One of the benefits of Tretinoin cream is that very little is absorbed into the blood stream so the chance for interaction with other medications is low.

Other Benefits

Tretinoin is believed to help in prevention of NMSC (nonmelanoma skin cancer) which accounts for 1/3 of all malignancies in the United States.

Warning

Do not use if you are pregnant or could be pregnant due to the high risk of birth defects. Sunscreen must be worn, even in places that don’t get much sun, as Tretinoin causes the skin to be hypersensitive to UV radiation. Using products containing alcohol, astringents, spices, sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid or lime could have severe adverse interactions with Tretinoin.

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