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Retin-a Prescription
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Generic Name:Retin-A
Retin A (tretinoin topical) is used to treat acne. Includes Retin A side effects, interactions and indications. Average Savings for tretinoin (generic): 28.97%
Generic Name:Retin-A
Retin A (tretinoin topical) is used to treat acne. Includes Retin A side effects, interactions and indications. Average Savings for tretinoin (generic): 28.97%
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30 tablets of Retin-a 40 mg
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Retin-a Drug Information:

Retin-A (Tretinoin) is a form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself. The Retin-A and Avita brands of Tretinoin are used to treat acne. The Renova brand of Tretinoin is used to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and mottled skin discoloration, and to make rough facial skin feel smoother. Retin-A may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. When using Retin-A avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Retin-A can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun. Avoid getting Retin-A in your eyes, mouth, and nose, or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, wash with water. Do not use Retin-A on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin. Also avoid using this medication in wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using Retin-A. Learn more

Retin-a Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about tretinoin topical. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Retin-A.

In Summary

More frequent side effects include: exfoliation of skin, stinging of the skin, localized warm feeling, and mild erythema of skin. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to tretinoin topical: topical cream, topical gel/jelly, topical lotion

Along with its needed effects, tretinoin topical (the active ingredient contained in Retin-A) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking tretinoin topical:

More common

  • Burning, stinging, peeling, redness, or unusual dryness of the skin (severe)

Less common

  • Dryness, pain, redness, irritation, or peeling at the application site

Some side effects of tretinoin topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Burning, itching, stinging, scaling, or redness of the skin
  • chapping or slight peeling of the skin (mild)
  • darkening of the skin
  • lightening of normal skin color
  • lightening of treated areas of dark skin
  • redness of skin (mild)
  • unusual dryness of skin (mild)
  • unusually warm skin (mild)

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to tretinoin topical: topical cream, topical gel, topical kit, topical liquid, topical lotion



Very common (10% or more): Severe skin irritation (Up to 32%)

Frequency not reported: Mild irritation, peeling/skin exfoliation, erythema, pruritus, blistering, pain, crusting, tenderness, dry skin, burning/warmth/stinging, photosensitivity/increased sensitivity to light

Postmarketing reports: Temporary hyper/hypopigmentation, rash, skin atrophy


Very common (10% or more): Dry skin (Up to 16%), peeling/scaling/flaking skin (Up to 12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Burning sensation, erythema, pruritus, skin pain, sunburn

Frequency not reported: Blistering/crusting skin

Postmarketing reports: Temporary hypo/hyperpigmentation, increased susceptibility to sunlight

Microsphere Gel:

Common (1% to 10%): Skin irritation, skin burning, erythema, dermatitis

Frequency not reported: Peeling, dryness, stinging, itching

Postmarketing reports: Temporary hypo/hyperpigmentation

Erythema, peeling, dryness, burning/stinging, and/or itching occurred most frequently during the first 2 weeks of therapy.

Most of the dermatologic side effects were mild in severity (approximately 63%), and approximately 34% were of moderate severity.

Dry, peeling, scaling, and/or flaking skin occurred most often in the gel formulation.



Frequency not reported: Reversible liver function test changes (bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, ALT, AST)



Frequency not reported: Thymol turbidity elevations, increased flocculation



Postmarketing reports: Edema/swelling of application site



Frequency not reported: Allergic contact dermatitis

Postmarketing reports: Allergic reaction

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/27/2021.

Source: Drugs.com Retin-a (www.drugs.com/retin-a.html).