tretinoin (sun damage) is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Eczema and other skin conditions: Tretinoin can cause severe irritation to skin that is already dry or irritated from other causes. If you have eczema or another skin condition, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Skin care: Cosmetics may be used, but the skin must be thoroughly cleaned before applying tretinoin topical cream. Avoid using harsh abrasives, cosmetics with a strong drying effect, high concentrations of alcohol, or peeling agents (e.g., sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid). These products make skin irritation from tretinoin more likely.
Skin irritation: Some people using tretinoin may experience temporary skin irritation, especially in early weeks of treatment. If excessive reactions occur, and the skin becomes extremely red, swollen, or crusted, stop using the medication and contact your doctor.
Sunlight exposure: Tretinoin may increase your sensitivity to the sun. Prolonged exposure to sunlight, sunlamps, wind, and cold should be avoided during treatment as these may cause more irritation. Avoid or minimize this type of exposure during the use of tretinoin.
If you cannot avoid exposure to sunlight, use sunscreen products with a minimum SPF 15, and wear protective clothing over treated areas if possible. Sunscreen should be reapplied after swimming. If sunburn occurs, stop using the medication and call your doctor for advice.
Pregnancy: Rarely, topical tretinoin has been associated with birth defects. This medication should not be used during pregnancy. Women should use contraception (e.g., birth control pills, condoms) while using tretinoin. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if tretinoin passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.