Retin-A Information


By: Denver Skin Clinic

Background information about Retin-A

In recent years scientific studies have shown that Retin-A, retinoic acid or tretinoin, may have some effect if used for 6-12 months in reversing some skin problems. This is in contrast to the myriad of cosmetic products which make inflated claims (in addition to having inflated prices), and which lack scientific validity.

Retin-A is a synthetic derivative of naturally occurring vitamin A which may work by its effect on the way cells differentiate and mature. It helps to make the skin more evenly pigmented and have more of a dewy appearance or glow.

In young and middle-aged individuals, chronic sun damage is the major contributing factor to aging of the skin. Sun damaged skin shows fine wrinkling, thinning, roughening, irregular pigmentation (freckling and white spots), a leathery appearance and precancerous rough spots. Therefore, we stress to all our patients, regardless of how else they care for their skin, the regular use of full strength sunscreens (SPF #15 or greater) to prevent further aging of the skin and to perhaps allow the reversal of some of the damage already done. Lower strength (less than #15 SPF) sunscreens are not effective in preventing damage.

Retin-A should be used as follows:

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