Tretinoin for the treatment of photodamaged skin

Cutis. 2010 Jul;86(1):47-52.


Interest in and interventions for photodamaged skin have dramatically increased over the last few years. Although a number of topical therapies have been used for the treatment of photodamaged skin, many therapies remain unproven in efficacy, unapproved, or only supported with limited clinical evidence. Topical retinoids, particularly tretinoin, are the most extensively studied. They have been shown to attenuate and reverse the signs of photodamage, such as coarse wrinkling. In addition, the clinical changes achieved with tretinoin are accompanied by histologic evidence of benefit. The main drawbacks to retinoid use are local irritation and erythema that can limit utility in some patients. New retinoids and formulations specifically optimized to improve cutaneous tolerability have been introduced. Two case reports of patients using low-concentration tretinoin gel 0.05% for the treatment of photodamaged skin are discussed. Over a relatively short treatment period of 4 weeks, tretinoin gel 0.05% was shown to provide both chemoprevention and reversal of photodamage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Keratolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Sunlight / adverse effects
  • Tretinoin / administration & dosage
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use*


  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Tretinoin