Tretinoin Before and After – Best Treatments


Tretinoin is a medication that is primarily used to treat acne but may also be used to reduce the damage caused by sun exposure. It helps to improve the appearance of or getting rid of wrinkles on the surface of the skin, as well as dark spots and fine lines.

Your doctor may prescribe Tretinoin, a medication that may also be referred to as a retinoid, to help treat severe acne and promote the quick healing of pimples that develop. It works to regenerate the growth of new skin to replace the damage.

What Tretinoin Contains

Every gram of tretinoin contains: 0.025% tretinoin, stearic acid, polyoxyl 40 stearate, isopropyl myristate, stearyl alcohol, xanthan gum, sorbic acid, purified water, and butylated hydroxytoluene.

Who is it Appropriate for

Tretinoin cream is excellent for anyone who wants to replaces old skin cells with new ones, such as:

Aging and Dark Spots

Tretinoin cream helps treat and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, lighten dark spots or rough patches of skin due to sun damage by lightening the skin and replacing the old, damaged skin, with new skin by rejuvenating the cells.

Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PiH) can affect areas of the face and body and appear as discolored flat spots ranging from pink to red, brown, or black, depending on the person’s skin tone and the depth of the color.

Both men and women can suffer from post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and are more common in people with darker skin tones. The cause of PiH is an increase in melanin, a pigment that creates a person’s skin color. The increase in melanin is due to how the skin heals after injury or inflammation; darker skin may appear almost black, and lighter skin, pink or red.

This product works best when used alongside other skin products to exfoliate and treat the skin gently. While tretinoin is great to help reduce skin damage and reduce the effects of aging, it will not eliminate deep wrinkles or prevent the natural aging process.

Acne and Scarring

Tretinoin is also used for people who suffer from severe acne or acne scarring. It helps to dry out a peel off the top layer of skin, revealing a newer, healthier layer of newly regenerated skin.

Because there are constantly new layers of skin being exposed, it is best to avoid prolonged sun exposure, as this could result in a severe burn or blistering, furthering skin damage. While using this medication, it is recommended that you use a high SPF moisturizing sunscreen.

Success Stories with Tretinoin

Some people swear by tretinoin to heal their skin blemishes. Not only does it help treat acne, but it helps treat scarring and dark spots caused by sun damage. There are numerous examples of before and after tretinoin photos from users that swear by this product.

For Wrinkles

From Hot and Flashy, Angie has posted photos that span five years’ worth of results from using tretinoin cream. Her fine lines and wrinkles faded over months, with outstanding results that just kept getting better. At age 55, she has smoother skin and an even complexion.

For Acne

Perhaps more than any other reason, tretinoin is used for treating acne and the scars it can produce. On a user’s YouTube channel, Kacia, she goes through her journey on an in-depth level, with her experiences and what led her to use tretinoin and mistakes she made. The results are quite impressive and are worth looking at.

Dark Spots and Scarring

A user whose story was posted on Reddit, showing before and after photos of her skin after using tretinoin, was visited and talked about countless times. The photos of a young woman with acne-riddled skin posted next to one of them with clear-skin made users do a double-take.

The remarkable results speak for themselves and are well worth considering if you are looking into tretinoin as an acne treatment.

How Long to get Results using Tretinoin

Be prepared, if you are using tretinoin for acne, you may see an increase in redness and breakouts for the first 7-10 days before it gets better. It’s also important to note that tretinoin does not cure acne, it just controls the breakouts. You will usually see a difference and acne reduction in 2-3 weeks.

If you are using tretinoin topically to reduce the look of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, discoloration, or rough skin, you may not see results for up to 4 months, and you need to continue using the medication to continue seeing results; if you stop taking tretinoin, the progress will disappear.

Tretinoin Treatment Schedule

Tretinoin is to be used as directed by a physician. Do not self-administer a dose that is more or less than prescribed, or use it for a longer duration than is advised. By going against the advisory of your doctor may result in skin irritation.

Follow the instructions on the information package carefully and consult your physician with any questions you may have. The medicine should not be applied on or around your lips, eyes, or on the inside of your nose. Only specified eye cream should be applied near the eyes.

It is important not to apply this medication to sunburned skin or skin with open wounds.

Before the application of tretinoin, cleanse the skin with mild soap or a cleanser and warm water, then dab the skin dry gently. Do not rub vigorously as this may irritate. Skin is to be completely dry before applying tretinoin, as applying it to wet skin can irritate.

How to Apply

To use the gel, cream, or lotion form of tretinoin:

  • Take a small, pea-size amount of medicine and gently, but thoroughly, rub it into the affected areas.
  • While you are using the lotion, you may find that your skin is dryer and a moisturizer is needed. Creams that contain hyaluronic acid are a great pairing to use with tretinoin because they have a moisturizing agent that pairs well. Salicylic acid may also be used in combination with tretinoin.

To apply the liquid form of tretinoin:

  • Application of the liquid form of tretinoin can be applied via your fingertips or it can be put on a cotton swab, or gauze pad; enough to cover the affected areas. If you are using a cotton swab or gauze pad, be careful not to get it too wet; this will allow you to apply the medicine to affected areas only, and not other, unaffected areas.

Immediately after application of the medicine, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any remaining solution.


Depending on what you are using tretinoin for and the severity of the acne, dark spots, etc., will determine the dosage. It is important to follow the instructions as indicated by your doctor on your prescription label.

The dose varies by patient and the reason for taking the medication. The number of doses will also vary, and the length of time that you are on the medication is indicative of your condition.


Topical tretinoin forms (gel, cream, liquid):

Adults – apply to affected areas once per day, at bedtime for optimal results.

Children – Consult a physician and follow instructions and dosage carefully.

Topical forms (lotion):

Adults and children 9 years and older – apply a thin layer of tretinoin to the skin once per day.

Children under 9 years of age – Consult a physician and follow instructions and dosage carefully.

Wrinkles, rough skin due to sun damage, or dark spots

Topical forms (cream):

Adults 50 years old and younger – apply a small amount to the affected area once daily, at bedtime.

Adults 50 years and older – consult a physician and follow instructions and dosage carefully.

What products does have to address these conditions?

For wrinkles, dark spots, and acne, has a variety of products, including clinically effective retinol cream and intense hydration collagen production cream, ultra-potent brightening serum for dark spots, and citrus glow drops with vitamin C oil.

Why are these preferable in the marketplace?

Retinal is considerably cheaper to buy than tretinoin, especially if you don’t have a plan that covers the cost. And while the prescription is more severe, the over-the-counter creams will do the trick (albeit over more time) but will not cause quite the severity of peeling or other side-effects that tretinoin may.

Does Tretinoin Work?

So, does tretinoin work? There are several testimonies and photos posted by people who swear by tretinoin. They have seen a significant reduction in acne, wrinkles, and dark spots, they have seen more clear, smooth, and healthy-looking skin over time.

Keep in mind that tretinoin is a commitment if you want the results to last a lifetime.

Tretinoin Solutions

There are several forms of this solution, including ones you can order off websites, such as Retinoid Cream. Retinoid cream is the most effective and potent cream you can get without a prescription from your doctor. The retinoid cream exfoliates the top layer of skin composed of dead cells, improves skin tone, and makes it smoother.

A more complete list of creams under this umbrella include:

US Brand

  1. Atralin
  2. Refissa
  3. Renova
  4. Retin-A
  5. Retin-A Micro
  6. Tretin-X

Canadian Brand

  1. Stieva-A Gel
  2. Stieva-A Cream
  3. Stieva-A Cream Forte
  4. Stieva-A Solution
  5. Vitamin A Acid
  6. Rejuva-A

Other products that may also include tretinoin include:

  1. Solage
  2. Tri-Luma
  3. Veltin
  4. Ziana

Tretinoin and Pregnancy

Some medications are not safe for use while you are pregnant, and tretinoin is inconclusive in this regard. While in studies, it did show adverse effects on animal fetuses, there is not adequate evidence to say definitely that it is harmful to a human fetus.

The question regarding tretinoin and pregnancy, should be posed with your doctor. They will likely advise you to wait until you are no longer pregnant to start using this medication as part of your skincare routine.

Tretinoin at Night

As with many medications, tretinoin is best when used at night. The reason for this is that while you are sleeping, your body is healing and repairing anything that has damage to it. The repair of your cells is at its peak while your body is resting, and for this reason, it is the ultimate time to take tretinoin.

Tretinoin repairs damaged cells, so it makes perfect sense that night is the most advantageous time to take this medicine. Believe it or not, your skin slows the rate of reproducing cells right around the ripe old age of 13, so you will agree that your skin needs all the help it can get by using tretinoin at night.

Possible Side-Effects of Tretinoin

A list of possible side effects that you need to be aware of and report to your doctor if they occur are:

  • Darkening or lightening of treated skin
  • Severe itching, burning, crusting, or swelling of treat areas
  • Sensitive Skin/Skin Irritation

While the following side effects usually don’t require you to seek medical attention, you may find the need to call your doctor if they persist:

  • An increase in sensitivity to the sun
  • Persistent itching
  • Stinging
  • Inflamed or irritated skin (it may peel after a matter of days).

Your doctor will have given you a list of all side effects, so be sure to go over them and be aware of what to watch for.

What to include in your Doctor Consultation before Starting Tretinoin

Your doctor will ask you about the specifics of your skin condition and the results you hope to achieve before discussing options. It is essential to let your doctor know the following before taking tretinoin:

  • If you are pregnant
  • If you are breastfeeding
  • Whether or not you are unavoidably exposed to the sun
  • List of medications that you are taking to avoid negative interactions.

If you are prescribed tretinoin by your doctor or a dermatologist, use it according to their instructions and understand and manage your expectations.

Final Word

For acne, wrinkles, and dark spots due to sun exposure, tretinoin can be an effective treatment method. It is essential to know what to expect and understand that things may worsen before they get better. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss whether or not tretinoin is a good choice for you.