Sustained improvement in photodamaged skin with reduced tretinoin emollient cream treatment regimen: effect of once-weekly and three-times-weekly applications

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Aug;37(2 Pt 1):227-30. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(97)80129-6.


Background: Previous studies have documented reversal of long-term photodamage with once-daily applications of topical tretinoin.

Objective: Our purpose was to assess the effectiveness of tretinoin emollient cream in maintaining improvement in photodamage with a reduced frequency of applications.

Methods: A total of 126 subjects who completed 48 weeks of once-daily treatment with tretinoin emollient cream 0.05% were enrolled for an additional 24 weeks of tretinoin once weekly, three times weekly, or no therapy.

Results: The clinical improvement observed during 48 weeks of once-daily treatment was sustained with three-times weekly applications and to a lesser extent with once-weekly dosing, whereas effects tended to regress in subjects off therapy. The overall incidence of adverse events in the skin and subcutaneous tissues appeared to vary with dose frequency.

Conclusion: After 48 weeks of once-daily treatment, the continued use of tretinoin emollient cream 0.05% at a dose of three times per week maintains and, in some cases, may further enhance improvement in photodamage. Discontinuation of therapy results in some reversal of beneficial effects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects*
  • Tretinoin / administration & dosage*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Tretinoin