Tretinoin is used for initiating remission for a certain type of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) that has failed to respond to other therapies. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
It is very important that you use Tretinoin only as directed. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may cause irritation of the skin.
Do not apply this medicine to windburned or sunburned skin or on open wounds.
Do not use Tretinoin in or around the eyes or lips, or inside of the nose. Spread the medicine away from these areas when applying. If the medicine accidentally gets on these areas, wash with water at once.
Before applying Tretinoin, wash the skin with a mild soap or cleanser and warm water by using the tips of your fingers. Then gently pat dry. Do not scrub your face with a sponge or washcloth. Wait 20 to 30 minutes before applying this medicine to make sure the skin is completely dry. Applying Tretinoin to wet skin can irritate the skin.
After applying Retin-A, wash your hands to remove any medicine that might remain on them.
The dose of topical Tretinoin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average dose of topical Tretinoin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Adults and teenagers — Apply to the affected area of the skin once a day, at bedtime.
Missed dose of Tretinoin:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Tretinoin Side effects:
In some animal studies, Tretinoin has been shown to cause skin tumors to develop faster when the treated area is exposed to ultraviolet light (sunlight or artificial sunlight from a sunlamp). Other studies have not shown the same result and more studies need to be done. It is not known if Tretinoin causes skin tumors to develop faster in humans.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine 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 as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Burning feeling or stinging skin (severe); lightening of skin of treated area, unexpected; peeling of skin (severe); redness of skin (severe); or unusual dryness of skin (severe).
Darkening of treated skin.
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Burning feeling, stinging, or tingling of skin (mild)—lasting for a short time after first applying the medicine; chapping or slight peeling of skin (mild); redness of skin (mild); unusual dryness of skin (mild); or unusually warm skin (mild).
The side effects will go away after you stop using Tretinoin. On the rare chance that your skin color changes, this effect may last for several months before your skin color returns to normal.