Generic Tretinoina vs. Brand Names
A lot of the confusion lies in the fact that while your physician prescribes Retin-A, your pharmacist may fill your prescription with generic Tretinoina. This is because with a generic you'll often pay less than you would for a brand name drug.
But don't think that generic medications are of lower quality, or that they won't work as well. All Tretinoina products work in the same way, by speeding cell turnover rates and keeping pores free from blockages, or comedones. Tretinoina medications also help soften fine lines, fade dark marks and discolorations, and leave your complexion looking brighter and feeling smoother.
Because generic and brand name acne medications contain the same active ingredients, they will give you the same type of results across the board.
Tretinoina topical is a member of the topical acne agents drug class and is commonly used for Acne, Lichen Sclerosus, Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum and others.
Brand names for Tretinoina topical include Retin-A, Avita, Retin A Micro, and Atralin.
Is Tretinoina safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of topical Tretinoina use during pregnancy. Physicians must weigh the potential risks and benefits before prescribing Tretinoina during pregnancy.
It is unknown whether Tretinoina is secreted into breast milk. It also is unknown if topically applied Tretinoina accumulates to an extent sufficient to be of concern in the infant. Nonetheless, since oral Tretinoina is not recommended during lactation, it probably is prudent to avoid nursing during treatment with topical Tretinoina.
Casey Gallagher, MD, is board-certified in dermatology and works as a practicing dermatologist and clinical professor.
Tretinoina (brand names Retin-A, Avita, Renova) is a derivative of vitamin A and is the treatment of choice for comedonal acne, as well as whiteheads and blackheads. It works by increasing skin cell turnover, which promotes the extrusion of the plugged material in the follicle. It also prevents the formation of new comedones. Tretinoina is the only topical medication that has been proven to improve the appearance of wrinkles.
How to Use Tretinoina and Reduce Irritation.
Don’t go all out with this stuff! Less is more here. Using too much could lead to inflammation, cause redness, and make hyperpigmentation worse!
Make sure that your skin is absolutely dry before applying it. Ideally, you should wait 20 minutes after washing your face to use it. Damp skin increases its topical permeability, which will make it more irritating.
Use it before or after your moisturizer. Applying it over moisturizer doesn’t reduce its efficacy and makes it less irritating. (30) You only need to apply a pea-sized amount for the whole face. Yes, that is enough! It may not seem like it, but trust me: IT IS!
To reduce the side effects, simply begin incorporating it into your skincare routine more slowly. You can start using it once or twice a week and work your way up. For example, on week one use it Monday and Thursday. Week two on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. Week three Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. So on and so forth.
Using products containing Niacinamide (e.g. CeraVe PM or EltaMD AM Therapy) have been shown to minimize its irritating effects. (31)
Because Tretinoina will increase your sensitivity to the sun, it’s important that you wear sunscreen! And last but not least, make sure to apply it at night! Tretinoina degrades in sunlight.
To summarize: start slowly, use a pea-sized amount at night on dry skin before or after moisturizing, and wear sunscreen during the day. Use products with niacinamide to counteract irritation.
UPDATE 10/21/19: one study found that using short contact therapy is still effective and far less irritating versus leave-on treatment. This is what I’ve been doing very successfully with 0.1% Tretinoina gel the past month. Do do this, simply apply Tretinoina for 30 minutes on dry skin before thoroughly rinsing with water.
With this method, only 20% of participants in the above study experienced irritation, whereas it’s normally 80%! And if that wasn’t cool enough already, none of them were using moisturizer either! 🙂
If a reaction suggesting sensitivity or chemical irritation occurs, use of the medication should be discontinued. Exposure to sunlight, including sunlamps, should be minimized during the use of Tretinoina, and patients with sunburn should be advised not to use the product until fully recovered because of heightened susceptibility to sunlight as a result of the use of Tretinoina. Patients who may be required to have considerable sun exposure due to occupation and those with inherent sensitivity to the sun should exercise particular caution. Use of sunscreen products and protective clothing over treated areas is recommended when exposure cannot be avoided. Weather extremes, such as wind or cold, also may be irritating to patients under treatment with Tretinoina.
Tretinoina preparations for acne treatment should be kept away from the eyes, the mouth, angles of the nose, and mucous membranes. Topical use may induce severe local erythema and peeling at the site of application. If the degree of local irritation warrants, patients should be directed to use the medication less frequently, discontinue use temporarily, or discontinue use altogether. Tretinoina has been reported to cause severe irritation on eczematous skin and should be used with utmost caution in patients with this condition.
Concomitant topical medication, medicated or abrasive soaps and cleansers, soaps and cosmetics that have a strong drying effect, and products with high concentrations of alcohol, astringents, spices or lime should be used with caution because of possible interaction with Tretinoina. Particular caution should be exercised in using preparations containing sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid with Tretinoina. It also is advisable to “rest” a patient’s skin until the effects of such preparations subside before use of Tretinoina is begun.
What you need to know about using Tretinoina Retin-A.
- When you apply Tretinoina to moist skin it is more likely to cause peeling and irritation.
- Tretinoina, the active ingredient in Retin-A, breaks down in sunlight. This means Tretinoina is best used at bedtime.
- Some of the common and really good ingredients in other skin care products are not compatible with Tretinoina.
Tretinoina therapy is well worth the effort in my opinion, but there are tricks to doing it right.
Retin-A vs. Retin-A Micro
Retin-A and Retin-A Micro are both brand names for Tretinoina. The big difference between these two medications is how they deliver the Tretinoina to your skin. Retin-A Micro delivers the medication more slowly, over time, so it's less irritating than Retin-A.
Indications and Usage:
Tretinoina gel and cream are indicated for topical application in the treatment of acne vulgaris. The safety and efficacy of the long-term use of this product in the treatment of other disorders have not been established.
How to Use Tretinoina Cream
If you're wondering how to use Tretinoina cream, here are some guidelines that help ensure that you get all the benefits.
- Apply Retin-A in a thin layer at night. A small amount goes a long way.
- In the morning, wash your face with a mild facial scrub or rough washcloth. This will help reduce the noticeable flaking.
- After washing, apply a good water-based moisturizer. (Yes, guys, this applies to you, too.) The moisturizer will make the drying effect of the medicine more tolerable.
- If flaking occurs during the day, use a washcloth to remove it and apply more moisturizer, or just apply moisturizer.
- Try using a moisturizer that also contains a sunscreen. If not, apply sunscreen anytime you are in the sun—even for a short amount of time. Tretinoina makes you more susceptible to sunburn.
- When you first start using Retin-A, apply it every other night or every third night. The flaking and irritation s >
- If you notice an increase in the irritation or flaking, it's okay to take a break for a couple of days. Just don't stop using the medication completely without consulting your health care prov >
How is this medicine (Tretinoina Cream) best taken?
Use Tretinoina cream as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not take Tretinoina cream by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
- If you get Tretinoina cream in any of these areas, rinse well with water.
- Follow how to use 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 Tretinoina cream.
- Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.
Retin- A (Tretinoina)
Retin-A is the brand name of Tretinoina, the first retinoid approved by the FDA over 40 years ago. Retin-A is a prescription drug that when launched was predominantly prescribed by dermatologists to treat acne. However, today the use of Retin-A for skin rejuvenation is commonplace as physicians have noticed how it can simultaneously boost collagen, diminish wrinkles, speed up cell turnover, and smooth the skin.
Retin-A is referenced as being 100 times stronger than retinol. It also has a more immediate effect because it is formulated as retinoic acid; unlike retinols, no conversion by the body is required. As such, many users of Retin-A experience notable improvements in as little as 4-8 weeks.
Tretinoina vs. IsoTretinoina
Tretinoina and isoTretinoina both are prescription medications used to treat acne. Both are derived from vitamin A. That's where their similarities stop.
Tretinoina is used topically to treat acne. IsoTretinoina, better known by the now-defunct brand name Accutane, is an oral medication used to treat severe inflammatory acne. Tretinoina and isoTretinoina are not interchangeable.
Important Safety Information
While using Tretinoina, you should:
- minimize exposure to the sun and to extreme cold or wind. Avoid sunlamps, tanning beds and ultraviolet light.
- use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hat
- stop using Tretinoina if you get a sunburn
- avoid washing your skin too often, scrubbing the affected skin, or using other products with a drying effect, including other products containing Tretinoina, unless recommended by your healthcare provider
Before using Tretinoina, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- are allergic to fish (gel only). Contact your healthcare provider if you develop itching or rash while using Tretinoina gel.
- have a skin condition called eczema
- have a sunburn
- are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant or to breastfeed
What are the possible side effects of Tretinoina?
- skin dryness, burning, redness, excessive flaking or peeling. If you develop these symptoms your healthcare provider may tell you to stop using it for a while, decrease the number of applications, or stop using it completely.
Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
The safety and efficacy of Tretinoina have not been established in the treatment of patients younger than 10 years of age (Gel) or 12 years of age (Cream), or in pregnant or nursing women.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Prescribing Information for Tretinoina Cream and Gel.
By Cynthia Bailey on June 04, 2010
One of our most popular prescription medications in dermatology is Tretinoina (Retin A). Why? Because it is one of the most powerful skin care products in the war against aging skin. It's tricky to use though. I'm a big Tretinoina fan and here I'll give you tips from my practice for how to use Tretinoina with a lower risk of skin irritation and dryness.
Retino > They also help clear out blocked pores and soften fine lines and wrinkles.
Topical retinoids are prescribed to treat acne. They are also commonly used as anti-aging treatments.
Besides Tretinoina, other topical retinoids include Tazorac (tazarotene) and Differin (adapalene). Differin is more aptly described as a retinoid-like compound, if we're being precise, but works the same way.