Topical Retinoid
Compare To Other Treatments

The following side effects are expected to occur in the first few weeks of using tretinoin. These side effects usually decrease with continued use of tretinoin. Contact your doctor if these symptoms are severe and/or do not go away:

How Common (based on clinical studies)

Dryness of skinUp to 68% of all users
Skin warmth and/or rednessUp to 64% of all users
Burning or stinging sensationUp to 55% of all users
Peeling, scaling, or flaky skinUp to 52% of all users
Skin tightnessUp to 43% of all users
ItchingUp to 35% of all users
Skin irritation, blistering, and/or crustingUp to 35% of all users
Discoloration of skinUp to 35% of all users
Sunburn / PhotosensitivityUp to 3.8% of all users
Increase in acne lesionsUp to 0.7% of all users
Increased risk of skin infectionUp to 0.3% of all users

Tretinoin may cause some side effects that are serious. If you experience any of the following uncommon side effects, get in touch with your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:

  • A sudden appearance of swelling and rash (known as hives)
  • Severe itching
  • Severe local discomfort or pain 

Tretinoin may also cause other side effects that are not mentioned here. Contact your doctor if you experience any other troublesome symptoms when using tretinoin.

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