HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
Fact or Fiction: Tretinoin
by Staff
If you've reached a certain age, chances are you've battled a pimple or two. For many people, a dab of basic blemish cream does the trick, but some folks need more serious acne treatment. Test your knowledge with this tretinoin quiz.

Tretinoin is commonly known as Retin-A when it's in anti-acne pill form.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Retin-A is a topical anti-acne medication.

Tretinoin is a form of vitamin D.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's vitamin E.

Tretinoin use by pregnant women can cause birth defects.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It causes problems only if used in the third trimester of pregnancy.

If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, you should take topical tretinoin instead of the oral form.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You should avoid all tretinoin products if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.

Minors who take tretinoin have to participate in the iPledge program to ensure they use the drug correctly.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The iPledge program is only for women of child-bearing age.

Tretinoin is sold only with a prescription.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You can get it over the counter, but at lower concentrations.

Oral tretinoin should be taken with the antibiotic tetracycline.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You take it with penicillin.

Tretinoin causes sensitvity to the sun.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It doesn't cause sun sensitivity, but it can give you a sunburned appearance.

You can also use topical tretinoin to reduce signs of aging caused by sun damage.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: This is just in experimental use right now -- it hasn't been FDA-approved yet.

In fact, tretinoin has been shown to reverse the aging process -- it's the only product that can legally claim to do so.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Tretinon and alpha hydroxy acids have both been proven to reverse aging.