Tretinoin for Acne

People that take tretinoin for acne typically use the cream over a period of months before seeing significant changes. In the short term, tretinoin can potentially make acne worse (a period that’s commonly known as “purging”) before the acne improves.

However, over the long term, tretinoin is highly effective at reducing the formation of acne and improving facial skin.

Several studies confirm that tretinoin is an effective treatment for acne:

In one 2009 study, groups of randomised participants aged 10 years and older with acne that ranged from mild to moderate were assigned retinoids for acne or a non-therapeutic substance on a daily basis over a period of 12 weeks.

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The tretinoin gel groups (one used tretinoin gel 0.05%, the other tretinoin gel microsphere 0.1%) both had significantly larger levels of improvement in acne reduction than the control group, with only mild to moderate skin-related side effects.

In another study, participants with facial acne were assigned one of three different treatments, one of which was a combination of tretinoin cream and clindamycin 1% gel.

Over a period of 12 weeks, participants in the tretinoin cream and clindamycin 1% gel group experienced a significant reduction in acne, from a baseline level of 13.70 ± 4.80 facial skin lesions to 1.30 ± 2.95 after a full 12 weeks of treatment.

During the study, the combination of tretinoin and clindamycin 1% gel outperformed benzoyl peroxide 2.5% gel and nadifloxacin 1% cream -- another common treatment for facial acne.

However, tretinoin cream and clindamycin 1% gel were slightly less effective when used in combination than benzoyl peroxide 2.5% gel and clindamycin 1% gel, which produced the biggest reduction in acne over the 12 week study period.

Are you interested in using tretinoin for reducing and treating acne? Our guide to using tretinoin as an acne treatment covers everything you need to know about using tretinoin to clear up facial acne, from dosage protocols to results, potential side effects and more.

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