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Tretinoin Gel Vs Tretinoin Cream


Tretinoin is used as a treatment to treat skin-related concerns. It is recommended by doctors to treat acne, pores, and many other skin-related concerns. It is helpful in minimizing pores and can also benefit our skin in case of wrinkles, dryness, and spots. It is also known as Retin A, which is a type of brand name for Tretinoin. All Tretinoin medications are part of retinoids that are derived from Vitamin-A. Tretinoin gained the approval of the FDA in 1971 and became a popular medication because of its high benefits. It is a safe medication that can be used by all women and men. Not only this, Tretinoin is advised by dermatologists for children as well. It is a prescription-based medication.

Tretinoin is available in three forms;

Gel – The consistency of Tretinoin Gel is almost the same as cream, which is a thick form. It is transparent and works properly.

Cream – The consistency of Tretinoin cream is thick in form. It takes time to work but gives excellent results with very few side effects.

Lotion – Lotion comes in a more watery consistency. Tretinoin lotion works nicely on the skin.

Below is the detail of Tretinoin gel and Tretinoin cream;

Tretinoin Gel

Tretinoin Gels are thicker in consistency and tend to be a stronger medication. One side effect of tretinoin gel is that it can cause irritation. Tretinoin Gel is said to be best in treating skin acne problems. You will find a 0.025 to 0.1% version of Tretinoin Gel. Retin A gel contains more alcohol in comparison to Retin A cream. The gel-based Retin A is harder on our skin. It is not advised to be used before cream if you have a sensitive skin type. Tretinoin gel is a strong medication and it can make the skin very dry, therefore it is recommended by dermatologists to use moisturizer after using the cream. Tretinoin Gel works faster than any other form.

Tretinoin Cream

Tretinoin creams are less thick in consistency and not that stronger. Tretinoin cream does not cause any irritation. Tretinoin cream is said to be best for dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, problems, etc. Retin-A cream contains a very less amount of alcohol in comparison to Retin-A Gel. Retin-A cream is soft and gentle for every skin and it is advised to try it before switching to Retin-A Gel. Tretinoin cream is smooth and already works as a moisturizer, hence in maximum cases, you won’t need to apply a moisturizer after applying Tretinoin cream. Tretinoin cream works slowly.


We have learned how Tretinoin is helpful for our skin and about the forms in which it is available to be purchased. By reading the separate explanation of both tretinoin gel and tretinoin cream, we can say that it is preferable to use cream first to avoid any irritation and once our skin achieves the tolerance of cream we can switch to gel after that. We can also consult a dermatologist before switching the treatment from cream to gel. A person might feel the problem is redness in the skin or the problem of peeling skin which is completely normal. Once our skin gets used to the gel or cream and adjusts accordingly, we will be able to start seeing excellent results of improvement in the skin. It can take around 5-10 or 6-12 weeks to finally show the result. As of now, it is not clear whether Tretinoin is safe for pregnant women or not. The tretinoin gel of 0.025% causes less irritation than 0.1%. If you have not tried tretinoin yet, you can start with tretinoin cream or a 0.025% version of tretinoin gel to avoid irritation on the skin.

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