Skip to main content

Tretinoin Emollient Topical

Generic name: tretinoin topical [ TRET-in-oin ]
Brand names: Altreno, Atralin, Avita, Refissa, Renova, Retin-A, Tretinoin Emollient Topical
Drug class: Topical acne agents

Medically reviewed by on Aug 3, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Tretinoin Emollient Topical?

Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself.

Tretinoin Emollient Topical (for the skin) is used to treat acne, to smooth rough facial skin, and to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and mottled skin discoloration.

Tretinoin Emollient Topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Tretinoin Emollient Topical side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tretinoin Emollient Topical may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Your skin may be more sensitive to weather extremes such as cold and wind while using Tretinoin Emollient Topical.

Common side effects of Tretinoin Emollient Topical may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, mouth, vagina, or in the creases of your nose.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Tretinoin Emollient Topical if you are allergic to it.

Do not give Tretinoin Emollient Topical to a child without medical advice. Some brands of tretinoin topical are not approved for use in anyone under 18.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether Tretinoin Emollient Topical will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

How should I use Tretinoin Emollient Topical?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Using more medicine or applying it more often than prescribed will not make it work any faster, and may increase side effects.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not use on sunburned skin, or skin affected by eczema.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Wash your hands before and after applying Tretinoin Emollient Topical. Before applying, clean and dry the skin area to be treated. Applying this medicine to wet skin may cause skin irritation.

Do not wash the treated area or apply other skin products for at least 1 hour after applying Tretinoin Emollient Topical.

Tretinoin Emollient Topical should be used as part of a complete skin care program that includes avoiding sunlight and using an effective sunscreen and protective clothing.

It may take up to several weeks before your skin improves. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve. If you are using Tretinoin Emollient Topical to treat acne, your condition may get slightly worse for a short time.

Call your doctor if skin irritation becomes severe or if your acne does not improve within 8 to 12 weeks.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if you think it is not working.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Tretinoin Emollient Topical gel is flammable. Do not use near high heat or open flame. Do not smoke until the gel has completely dried on your skin.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using Tretinoin Emollient Topical?

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Tretinoin Emollient Topical can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) when you are outdoors, even on a cloudy day.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, mouth, vagina, or in the creases of your nose.

Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.

Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with Tretinoin Emollient Topical unless your doctor tells you to.

What other drugs will affect Tretinoin Emollient Topical?

Do not use skin products that contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid unless otherwise directed by your doctor. These products can cause severe skin irritation if used with Tretinoin Emollient Topical.

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.