Topical retinoids in the treatment of acne vulgaris

Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2008 Sep;27(3):177-82. doi: 10.1016/j.sder.2008.06.001.


Topical retinoids are highly effective in the treatment of both comedonal and inflammatory lesions of acne and are a vital part of almost any acne regimen. A better understanding of the structure and function of this class of medications has led to better outcomes in treatments of patients with acne. In this article, the structure and function of retinoids is first reviewed. Then, the clinical effectiveness and tolerability of each of the available topical retinoid formulations is summarized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Administration, Topical
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Retinoids / administration & dosage
  • Retinoids / therapeutic use*


  • Retinoids