Highlights for tretinoin
tretinoin Side Effects
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- darkening or lightening of the treated areas
- severe burning, itching, crusting, or swelling of the treated areas
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor 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
tretinoin May Interact with Other Medications
- medicines or other preparations that may dry your skin such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
- medicines that increase your sensitivity to sunlight such as tetracycline or sulfa drugs
How to Use tretinoin
This medicine is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Gently wash your face with a mild, non-medicated soap before use. Pat the skin dry. Wait 20 to 30 minutes for your skin to dry before use in order to minimize the possibility of skin irritation. Apply enough medicine to cover the affected area and rub in gently. Avoid applying this medicine to your eyes, ears, nostrils, angles of the nose, and mouth. Do not use more often than your doctor or health care professional has recommended. Using too much of this medicine may irritate or increase the irritation of your skin, and will not give faster or better results.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 12 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- excessive sensitivity to the sun
- an unusual or allergic reaction to tretinoin, vitamin A, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
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 doctor or health care professional.
Your acne may get worse initially and should then start to improve. It may take 2 to 12 weeks before you see the full effect.
Do not wash your face more than 2 or 3 times a day, unless directed by your doctor or health care professional. Do not use the following products on the same areas that you are treating with this medicine, unless otherwise directed by your doctor or health care professional: other topical agents with a strong skin drying effect such as products with a high alcohol content, astringents, spices, the peel of lime or other citrus, medicated soaps or shampoos, permanent wave solutions, electrolysis, hair removers or waxes, or any other preparations or processes that might dry or irritate your skin.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths. Avoid cold weather and wind as much as possible, and use clothing to protect you from the weather. Skin treated with this medicine may dry out or get wind burned more easily.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store below 27 degrees C (80 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Last Updated: September 2, 2009