Topical tretinoin: its use in daily practice to reverse photoageing

Br J Dermatol. 1990 Apr;122 Suppl 35:87-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1990.tb16131.x.


The effect of 0.1% tretinoin cream for the treatment of photoageing was studied in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. All patients applied tretinoin cream to one forearm and the vehicle cream to the other, and half of the patients also applied tretinoin cream to the face and the other half used the vehicle cream. Tretinoin treatment produced an improvement in the signs of extrinsic ageing compared with the vehicle-treated areas. Fine wrinkling was improved most, although coarse wrinkling, brown spots, tactile roughness and overall skin colour also showed clear improvement. The majority of lentigines and sun-induced freckles showed some reduction in coloration with extended treatment. It is important when using tretinoin that the treatment procedure is carefully explained to the patients and that they are warned about a retinoid reaction. It should be stressed that improvement is gradual and that regular application of the cream must continue even after improvement has been achieved. Patients should be assured that there is no evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. Although no teratogenic effects of tretinoin have been reported when applied topically, it is not advisable to use the cream when trying to conceive or when pregnant.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Keratosis / drug therapy
  • Keratosis / etiology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects
  • Tretinoin / administration & dosage
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects


  • Tretinoin