Tretinoin (Retin A, Renova, Retino A,) are
vitamin A derivatives (retinoids) used to treat
Comedonal and Inflammatory acne. Tretinoin is also
used to reduce wrinkles, brown spots and surface
roughness on the face by producing a mild, superficial peel of the
epidermis. Tretinoin has effects on the both the epidermis and the dermis of the skin and is
helpful in reducing wrinkles caused by sun damage and excessive sun exposure.
Ordering options for Tretinoin including Retin A, Renova, Retino A are below.
No prescription is needed, but the pharmacies will require a consultation via questionnaire to
enable their staff physician to issue a prescription (this is a free consultation).
Other pharmacies do not require a consultation (no consultation needed)*
Tretinoin treats certain forms of acne only: See Chart for details and other acne treatments
Additional information and cautions about Tretinoin
Tretinoin (Retin A Renova etc) increases sensitivity to sunlight, wind and cold, therefore avoid
prolonged exposure to the sun and sunlamps. Avoid alcohol-containing facial products, Benzoyl
peroxide and minoxidil should not be used at the same time as Retin A. Check with your doctor
about any non prescription or prescription medications you may take including isotretinoin,
amiodarone, tetracycline or quinolone antibiotics, sulfa-drugs or phenothiazines because they
increase the skins sensitivity to the sun.
Side Effects of Tretinoin include:
Redness, peeling, stinging, or a feeling of warmth, which should go away during treatment.
However if you experience blistering, crusting, swelling, excessive redness or peeling of your
skin, check with your doctor immediately.
Types of Acne that respond to treatment with Tretinoin
Not all types of acne should be treated by tretinoin, it does NOT treat Nodulocystic acne.
Other types of acne vulgaris, namely comedonal acne and inflammatory acne can be treated
by tretinoin and other topical creams, such as Adapalene.
Antibiotics, such as erythromycin treat both nodulocystic and inflammatory acne, while
Minocycline (along with Isotretinoin) is used for nodulocystic acne only (due to side effects).
All 3 types of acne can respond to hormone therapy *(women only) via oral contraceptives,
containing norgestimate such as Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Ortho-Cyclen, Desogen and Cilest.
See chart below to check the usual recommended treatment for the 3 types of acne vulgaris.