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Retin A Cream is used to treat acne. It may decrease the number and severity of acne pimples and promote quick healing of pimples that do develop. Tretinoin belongs to a class of medications called retinoids. It works by affecting the growth of skin cells. Retin A Cream is available as its Brand name as well as its generic alternative Tretinoin Cream (Generic). 


How to best use Retin-A cream

Use Retin-A (tretinoin cream) as ordered by your doctor. Read all the information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Do not take Retin-A (tretinoin cream) by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
  • If you get Retin-A (tretinoin cream) in any of these areas, rinse well with water.
  • Follow how to use it as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
  • Put on at bedtime.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Wash affected skin and pat dry.
  • You may need to wait 20 to 30 minutes before use. Check with the pharmacist about how to use Retin-A (tretinoin cream).
  • Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.


Before using Retin A Cream, tell your doctor:

  • If you have an allergy to tretinoin or any other part of Retin-A (tretinoin) Cream 
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are taking any drugs that may make your skin more sensitive to light. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • If you have eczema or your skin is sensitive to light
  • If you have sunburn or other skin problems
  • If you are pregnant
  • About all of your drugs (including prescription, OTC, natural products, and vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Retin-A (tretinoin cream) with all of your drugs and health problems.
  • If you are thinking about changing your dosage. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Retin-A (tretinoin cream). If your condition does not improve or worsens, contact your doctor immediately.


Side Effects

Possible side effects include but are not limited to

  • 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. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Your doctor may want you to decrease how often you use tretinoin, change the strength or type, or have you stop using it. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • blistering, crusting, severe burning/swelling of the skin, eye redness and watering, eyelid swelling, skin discoloration.
  • A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms include rash, itching/swelling of the face, tongue, and throat; dizziness, or 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.


Q: Why is Retin A Cream prescribed?

A: This topical medication is used to treat acne and pimples. 

Q: How long until I see the results of the Retin A Cream?

A: It may take several weeks to see the full effects.

Q: Are there any precautions I should take before applying the Retin A cream?

A: Do not put the cream on cuts, scrapes, sunburned or damaged skin. Also, try to avoid the sun as you may get sunburned more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen when going outside. 

Q: Are there any known creams that interact badly with Retin A cream?

A: The use of other skin products while using Retin-A (tretinoin cream) may cause more irritation. Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.

Q: Can I use makeup while using this cream?

A: You may use make-up unless your doctor has told you not to. If you will be using make-up, clean the area to be treated before putting this drug on.

Q: What do I do if I miss a dose?

A: Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time. Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.

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