Tretinoin is a prescription-strength vitamin A derivative that can provide phenomenal results when applied topically to the skin. Some products which contain tretinoin as the active ingredient include Altinac, Avita, Refissa, Renova, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, and Solage. Tretinoin stimulates skin regrowth, stimulates collagen production and reduces its breakdown, and improves blood flow to the skin. It also thickens a layer of the skin called the dermis, which gives a more youthful appearance to the skin. This leads to improvements in roughness, fine lines, and laxity. Tretinoin comes in different vehicles such as cream or gel and in different strengths. It is an outstanding product for acne, acne scars, textural irregularities such as enlarged pores, and aging skin.
Retinol, on the other hand, is a derivative of tretinoin that is found in many over-the-counter products. It's action is similar to tretinoin, but it's effects are not as strong. Iso-tretinoin is another derivative of tretinoin that is an oral medication that has been used for acne, but has numerous potential side effects which have limited its use.