They are the same thing with different names. Retin-A is a brand name for tretinoin. However, Retin-A is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, while tretinoin is a generic form of the medication. They are prescription topical medications that belong to a class of drugs called retinoids. They are commonly used to treat acne and signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

The main difference between Retin-A and tretinoin is the price, as generic medications are typically less expensive than brand name drugs. Other than price, the medications are chemically and therapeutically identical. Both Retin-A and tretinoin work by increasing cell turnover, which can improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and acne.

It’s important to note that both Retin-A and tretinoin can cause skin irritation, dryness, and redness, and it is important to start with a low concentration of the medication and to use it only as directed by a healthcare professional. Before using either mediation, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with a licensed healthcare provider.

Author Weimin Hu MD, PhD Board Certified Dermatologist Mohs Surgeon Aesthetic Dermatologist

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