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Tretinoin Topical Cream Or Gel


Indications: Scars, Facial Peels, Anti-aging

A form of Vitamin A known to help the skin renew itself, Tretinoin, or retinoic acid, is applied topically to treat acne and to tighten wrinkling skin due to aging. In a class of medication called retinoids, research indicates Tretinoin plays a key role in decreasing the quantity and severity of pimples due to acne, and in promoting the rapid recovery of acne that does develop by impacting the growth of skin cells. Retinoic acid is available by prescription only, compared to retinol, which is a less powerful, over-the-counter form available for anti-aging.

Tretinoin Topical Gel’s main mechanism of effectiveness is its ability to affect growth of skin cells. Tretinoin (Reinoic Acid) acts by peeling the affected skin areas and fight to unclog pores. It’s important to note that Tretinoin is used to control acne, but does not cure it. Tretinoin (retinoic acid) helps the skin renew itself and is a powerful prescription designed to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and discoloration of the skin.


We always recommend consulting your doctor or pharmacist on the most effective way to apply tretinoin depending on your needs and goals. Generally, however, it is recommended to wash your hands prior to utilizing Tretinoin cream. After ensuring your hands are clean, gently clean the area of the skin to which you will be applying Tretinoin cream. It’s best to avoid a cleanser with strong soap: mild is better for cleaning the area. Gently pat the area dry.

Using the tips of your finger, apply a small amount to the affected skin. Don’t use too much, but enough to where there’s a thin layer coating the acne or other skin issue. In certain scenarios, depending on how your Tretinoin is compounded, it’s recommended to clean your face and wait 20-30 mins before applying the medication.The label on your tube or jar should instruct you should this be the case, along with an information bag stuffer you will likely receive. Should you be confused about anything, we recommend consulting your physician or compounding pharmacist at Davis Islands Pharmacy.


Retinoic acid is a topical medication intended for use on the skin only. Keep tretinoin from entering your nose or mouth, inner lip, eyes, ears, or any other cavity. You should also not use Tretinoin if you have cuts, scraped, burned, or eczema-affected skin. If somehow Tretinoin compounded topical gel does get in your eyes, flush them immediately. Should your eyes become irritated from retinoic acid, you should not hesitate to consult your doctor.

As a safety precaution to avoid getting Tretinoin cream in your eyes or mouth, wash your hands thoroughly after applying the medication. Do not try and rid yourself of acne by applying more than prescribed. Your acne will not heal as well, and you may end up developing other skin conditions like redness, peeling skin, and painful skin.

Do not use Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid) while pregnant, unless instructed by your doctor.

While taking Tretinoin, you should avoid applying dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the target area, unless otherwise instructed by your physician. This is not a complete list of side effects and precautions.


Tretinoin does not typically work right away, but that shouldn’t discourage you. In fact, because Tretinoin cream works deep inside the skin targeting pimples while they form, your acne may even appear worse than before. However, if you tough it out, by 8-12 weeks of continued use, you will notice results of prescription tretinoin, compounded specifically for your acne needs.

This medication is available in different strengths and forms (e.g., gel, cream, solution). The best type of medication for you to use will depend on the condition of your skin and your response to therapy. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.


Notify your doctor if you are allergic to Vitamin-A related medications, and any other medications you are allergic to. Your doctor should only prescribe this medication should he or she believe the potential benefits outweigh the potential side effects you may experience. It’s important to note that most of the side effects subside after continued use, and most people who use Tretinoin do not experience side effects. Some patients using Tretinoin topical cream or gel experience side effects such as:

  1. Stinging, sensations of warmth, or mild burning
  2. Redness of the skin or blisters
  3. Dry skin, which can be helped with the use of moisturizer
  4. Itchiness or scaling
  5. Worsening of acne, particularly in the first month of usage
  6. Eye issues like redness, watering, or swelling
  7. Lightening or darkening of the skin
  8. Sensitivity to the sun, so avoid long periods of direct sunlight or tanning booths

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Phone your physician for advice about side effects and warnings. You can also report side effects to the FDA by calling them directly at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Your doctor will determine the appropriate strength and amount of Tretinoin you take. Your medical issue and unique goals also factor into the number of doses you take, the time between doses, and the duration of time you take the medication. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

If you are instructed to use Tretinoin 1X per day, entirely skip a missed dose. You should not use Tretinoin more than once per day. If you forget a dose and are instructed to use it every 2 or 3 days, if it’s within 12 hours of the time you should have taken it, it’s ok to apply the medication immediately. If it’s not within 12 hours of your missed dose, skip it to avoid applying a double dose of Tretinoin.

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