This medication is used to improve the appearance of the skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, reducing roughness, and improving skin color. It should be used with a skin care and sunlight-avoidance program that includes moisturizer and daily use of an effective sunscreen (minimum SPF 15).Tretinoin belongs to a class of medications called retinoids. It works by affecting the growth of skin cells. Tretinoin does not repair sun-damaged skin or reverse aging due to sun exposure.
How to use Tretinoin Cream
Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Gently clean your face with a mild or soapless cleanser and pat skin dry. Wait 20-30 minutes before applying this medication. Apply a pea-sized amount of cream, using just enough to cover your entire face lightly, usually once a day before bedtime or as directed by your doctor. Be careful to avoid your eyes, nostrils and mouth. Do not wash your face or apply another skin care product for at least 1 hour after using this product.
Do not use more of this medication than prescribed or use it more often. It will not give you faster or better results, but will increase the risk of developing redness, peeling and pain. Do not use on cut, scraped, sunburned, or eczema-affected skin.
Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. If this medication gets into your eyes, flush with large amounts of water. Call your doctor if eye irritation develops. Wash your hands after using the medication to avoid accidentally getting it in your eyes.
Effects of this medication will appear slowly, with most improvement seen in the first 6 months of use.
If used for acne, your condition may worsen at first, then improve.
A brief sensation of warmth or stinging may occur immediately after applying the medication. Skin redness, dryness, itching, scaling, mild burning, or worsening of acne may occur during the first 2-4 weeks of using the medication. These effects usually decrease with continued use. A daytime moisturizer may be helpful for very dry skin (see Notes).
If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Your doctor may want you to decrease how often you use tretinoin, change the strength, or have you stop using it.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: blistering/crusting of the skin, severe burning/swelling of the skin, darkening or lightening of skin color.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using tretinoin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to vitamin A-related drugs (other retinoids such as isotretinoin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: eczema.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Weather extremes such as wind or cold may also be irritating to the skin. Use sunscreen daily and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness. Wait until your skin has completely recovered from a sunburn before using tretinoin.
Avoid electrolysis, waxing and chemical depilatories for hair removal on the treated areas while using this product.
If you have recently used products containing sulfur, resorcinol or salicylic acid, use tretinoin with caution. Wait until the effects of such products on the skin have decreased before using tretinoin.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also Precautions section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Avoid using other skin products that are harsh, irritating, or drying on the treated area. These products include hair perming solutions, alcohol/lime/menthol-containing products (such as astringents, toners, shaving lotion), medicated or abrasive soaps or cleansers, soaps and cosmetics with a strong drying effect (such as alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid), and products containing sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid.
Benzoyl peroxide should not be applied at the same time as this medication.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Cosmetics may be used 1 hour after applying tretinoin. Be sure to clean skin well before applying the medication. Daily moisturizer should be used to protect your skin from dryness.
Do not share this medication with others.
If you forget to use this medication, use it as soon as you remember if you remember the same day. If you don't remember until morning, wait until your next dose is scheduled.
Store at room temperature. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.