What Tretinoin Can Do for Acne

Updated June 16, 2014.


A topical retinoid used to treat mild to moderate acne. A form of vitamin A, tretinoin rapidly exfoliates the skin, keeping pores clear of cellular debris and preventing the formation of comedones. It is available by prescription.

Tretinoin is also used to improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.

Side effects of tretinoin include:

  • dryness, peeling, and flaking of the skin
  • redness
  • mild stinging, burning or itching
  • photosensitivity

Tretinoin is the active ingredient found in the branded drugs Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Ziana, among others.

Also Known As: Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Renova, Avita, Altinac