Difference Between Retin A and Tretinoin

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


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Key Takeaways

  1. Retin-A is a brand name for tretinoin, a retinoid derived from vitamin A.
  2. Both Retin-A and tretinoin are used to treat acne and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
  3. The primary difference is branding, with Retin-A being a specific branded product, while tretinoin is the generic, active ingredient.

Retin A vs Tretinoin

A topical drug with tretinoin, a type of retinoid intended to treat acne and lessen the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, is sold under the trade name Retin-A. Tretinoin is the generic name for the same medication, which is available under different brand names as well.

Retin A vs Tretinoin

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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 general pro-therapy. It is not recommended for people with sensitive skin.

Comparison Table

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 anaemia, 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 diarrhoea, dehydration, gastritis, migraines, anxiety, and nausea are all possible side effects of tretinoin.
  2. Retin-A is used as an anti-ageing product to reduce wrinkles and smoother skin. Tretinoin is also used for a specific type of cancer.
  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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