Difference Between Retin A and Tretinoin

They have a lot in common, but there are also some important differences. A little understanding of them can help you find the one that suits you best.

Retin A vs Tretinoin

The main difference between Retin A and Tretinoin is that Retin-A is the premium brand for a kind of tretinoin that is used to treat skin conditions. Tretinoin, or vitamin A, is a biologically active version of retinoic acid. All tissue paper should be referred to as Kleenex, and all chlorine and bleach products should be referred to as Retin-A.

Retin A vs Tretinoin

The three teams work together to prevent cell debris from flowing out of natural skin openings and promote the growth of healthy cells. Dryness, roughness, irritation, and tearing of the skin are common symptoms, as are increased UV sensitivity.

Because it includes retinoic acid, it is extremely efficacious. It’s an important part of generally pro therapy. It is not recommended for people with sensitive skin.

Comparison Table Between Retin A and Tretinoin

Parameters of ComparisonRetin ATretinoin
DefinitionRetin-A is a brand name for tretinoin.
A man-made version of Vitamin A

Primary useAcenesNot only acenes but also for skin problems.
Side effectsRetin-A can produce dryness, roughness, itching, or stinging sensationsBirth defects, stomach cramps and diarrhea, dehydration, gastritis, migraines, anxiety, and nausea are all possible side effects of tretinoin.
Similar ProductsRetin-A Micro, Renova, and Ziana Tazarotene and Differin.
Other UsesAnti Aging ProductA special type of cancer

What is Retin A?

Retin-A is the brand name of the drug retinoic acid. Retin-A is a synthetic version of vitamin A that can only be obtained through a medical recommendation and is not available over-the-counter.

Tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene are the three prescription-only retinoids. All three groups work together to keep cellular debris out of the natural skin pores and pores while also encouraging healthy cell growth.

Itching, scratching, and burning are problems for some people. As a result of the sensitivity of the skin caused by this prescription, special caution is needed while taking it.

What is Tretinoin?

Tretinoin is a higher artificial form of Vitamin A than Retinol. They aren’t over-the-counter medicines because they can only be obtained with a license from a licensed dermatologist.

Tretinoin can also be used to help treat aplastic anemia, a type of cancer that causes an overabundance of immature red blood cells from the blood and bone marrow. Retinoic acid is a drug that helps immature white blood cells develop normally, relieves or cures symptoms, and prevents disease recurrence.

Scientists have recently developed a less concentrated version of tretinoin, enabling cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies to use it as an ingredient in skincare and pro products. Acne is treated by speeding up cell formation, which also helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, eliminate imperfections, and even out the skin tone.

Main Differences Between Retin A and Tretinoin

  1. Retin-A can produce dryness, roughness, itching, or stinging sensations. Birth defects, stomach cramps and diarrhea, dehydration, gastritis, migraines, anxiety, and nausea are all possible side effects of tretinoin.
  2. Retin-A is used as an anti-aging product to reduce wrinkles and smoother skin. Tretinoin is also used for a specific type of cancer.


Acne, UV exposure, and tiny wrinkles can all be treated with Retinol and Tretinoin. They gently cleanse and nurture the natural skin layers. As a result, pimples, scars, and tiny wrinkles are reduced.

Consequently, it is recommended that you use them at night or stay out of the sun prior to going out in the sun to avoid sunburns and UV damage. Pregnant women should avoid them because they can cause pregnancy abnormalities and miscarriages.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09546639609086864
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1524-4725.1990.tb03962.x
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