Tretinoin – Generic Retin-A Acne Treatment

Tretinoin is recognized as an excellent treatment to consider when dealing with acne. It is a retinoid medicine, meaning it is a form of Vitamin A used to stimulate skin cell turnover.

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The cosmetic industry has begun to study acne preventions and treatments in-depth, and the market is now immersed with products to deal with these matters. 

We all know the common phrase that “no two humans are identical,” which can apply to the body’s aspects. Some people suffer from facial acne predicaments more than others, while some do not struggle at all. Acne problems tend to suppress your confidence, and many are always on the hunt for remedies. The feeling that everyone looks at your face and sees these flaws may lead to heightened self-awareness.

What Is Tretinoin?

Tretinoin is often described as a generic version of the acne medicine Retin-A, which can be used as a short-term and a long-term solution. It comes in the form of a gel, liquid, jelly, or cream. If you have any hard-to-clear acne, then you want to consider Tretinoin. 

How to Use It and How It Works?

Most acne patients chose to use the gel and noticed a significant improvement when used continuously for over ten weeks. Usually, at the start of this treatment, the acne tends to worsen, known as the “tretinoin purge” this is only temporary and will clear away. It is a fact that we all lose skin cells daily, and new cells rise to the surface. As cells are shredded, it opens up pores and releases trapped bacteria and other irritants that cause acne. Treatments like Tretinoin increase the rate at which your skin sheds cells. It can also be the reason why many use it as an anti-aging treatment.

It also helps with the regulation of natural oils in your skin, preventing future breakouts. These factors make it more difficult for acne development in the future, whether on your face or body.

Before applying the treatment, be sure to wash skin with some warm water, gently using your fingers and mild soap, then wait 20-30 minutes before administering. The application should avoid areas around the eyes and lips and away from the nose. Do not apply it to sunburnt skin or open wounds. If you use it to wet skin, then it may irritate.

Use a small pea amount of gel or cream to cover your whole face. You may want to use a soft cotton pad to spread it and make sure to wash your hands after completion.


The Tretinoin treatment is safe and effective and has been tested on all ages, including 10-year-olds.

Precautions and Tretinoin Side Effects

Like most medications, it comes in different strengths, which can lead to various side effects. We know that some users experience some side effects which tend to go away with long-term use, and only a small number of users grow to experience allergic reactions.

Some common side effects include:

  • Unusually dry skin.
  • Itching and burning skin.
  • Facial and eyelid swelling.

Medical attention should be sought as soon as you experience any side effects.

It is not advisable for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use this medication. When discussing with your doctor before using this medication, inform them if you have any other allergies or any conditions such as Eczema. There may also be drug (or other substances like food) interactions, so keep that in mind.

Where to Buy Tretinoin

Tretinoin can be purchased over-the-counter; you can also buy this treatment online at several drug stores. It is generally safer to get a prescription from the doctor and purchase it at a licensed pharmacy.

How to Store It Safely

Tretinoin should be used only as directed and not in excess, or for a more extended period than prescribed and safely discarded once the cycle has lapsed or the product is expired. This medicine should be kept out of children’s reach. Keep at room temperature in a sealed container away from heat and light. Do not freeze and keep far from fires as it is flammable.

The Comparison Between Tretinoin and Adapalene

There are other treatments on the market; let’s look below some of their comparisons.

Discovered and patented in the 1950s.Only approved in the 1990s.
Can be bought over-the-counter.Used only with explicit approval from a doctor.
Used to treat mild-to-severe acne troubles.Only treats mild-to-moderate conditions.


Tretinoin vs. Retin-A

Another standard acne treatment option is Retin-A. This formula does not contain any antibiotics, unlike in Tretinoin. It is seen that Retin-A is less practical than Tretinoin, but it has fewer side effects and risks. Tretinoin is a generic product to the brand Retin-A, although they are composed of the same ingredients. Being a generic product, Tretinoin is seen as the cheaper option when compared with Retin-A.

The Bottom Line

Before deciding to start using this medication, it is advisable to discuss it with a doctor and weigh the pros and cons. Doses of this treatment may vary from person-to-person and should not be changed unless it’s doctor’s orders. Some medicines are only applied once a day; some applied only at night time; others depend on the doctor’s prescription. Regular consultation with the doctor is essential.

Sometimes you may need to apply a moisturizer or another water-based cream to balance out any dryness caused by Tretinoin. Ultimately this Retinol based treatment comes highly recommended and has a good reputation within the acne sufferers’ community.

The treatment will all depend on your level of acne dilemma. You may end up using a few products throughout your acne journey, although Tretinoin comes highly commended. Why not give it a chance, and let us know your experience.

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