What are the Most Common Uses for Tretinoin Gel?

K. Gierok

Tretinoin gel is a prescription medication that is commonly used for the treatment of a number of skin conditions. The most common way in which tretinoin is used is in the treatment of skin damage caused by excessive amounts of sun exposure. In addition, tretinoin has also been found to be an effective form of acne treatment. In some cases, this medication may also be used in the treatment of skin cancer, though those considering it for this use should be sure to speak to a physician; it is not always a viable option, especially in the more advances stages of skin cancer.

Tretinoin gel is often used on sun damaged skin.
Tretinoin gel is often used on sun damaged skin.

One of the most common uses for tretinoin gel is in the treatment of sun damage of the skin. Typically, tretinoin gel is most effective for individuals who experience wrinkles and brown spots, though other symptoms of sun damaged skin may also be improved through the use of this medication. In order to achieve optimal results when it comes to using tretinoin, individuals are encouraged to have patience, as the medication may take weeks or even months before improvements in skin texture, tone, and color are noticed. Using the gel on a regular basis is essential when it comes to maximizing the benefits of the product.

Tretinoin gel may be used to treat severe acne.
Tretinoin gel may be used to treat severe acne.

Tretinoin gel has also been found to be effective in the treatment of moderate to severe acne. Unlike other forms of acne treatment, which target the acne itself, tretinoin gel actually changes the texture of the skin. By irritating the skin, tretinoin causes the cells of the skin to grow and die at a surprisingly rapid rate. This high death and regrowth rate results in fewer skin cell layers, which helps prevent pimples from occurring altogether. Just as when tretinoin gel is used to treat skin damage, those who use the product for acne must be patient in order to see the best results. In addition, avoiding foods rich in fat and sugar can maximize the benefits of tretinoin gel.

In certain cases, tretinoin may be an effective way to treat the initial symptoms of skin cancer. Some studies have suggested that it may reverse the disease. Those who are interested in using tretinoin gel as a form of skin cancer treatment should consult with the physician in order to learn more about the product. In some cases, tretinoin may not be a viable option, especially for those with more advanced forms of skin cancer.

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Discussion Comments


As far as I know, tretinoin is also available as a cream. Is tretinoin cream different than tretinoin gel in terms of effectiveness or side effects?

My doctor gave me tretinoin gel for rosacea. I don't know if it's a common rosacea treatment or not but my doctor thinks that it might help with my flushing.


@ZipLine-- I used tretinoin gel 0.01% for about six months for acne. It took a month for it to work, but my doctor had told me at the time that it can take up to six weeks. So don't expect results soon.

Also, expect your skin to be irritated and your acne to get worse for a short while. Tretinoin works well for acne for most people, but it does make skin look worse before it makes it look better. I had more breakouts and red and irritated skin for about a month after I started using this gel.


Has anyone here used tretinoin gel for the treatment of acne?

I just started using it and I'm wondering how long it will take to see its effects. When can I expect to be acne-free?

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