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.