Fact or Fiction: Tretinoin

Staff

4 Min Quiz

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

Retin-A is the most common topical application, and Accutane is the pill form.

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Tretinoin is a form of vitamin D.

Nope, tretinoin is derived from retinoic acid, which is the acid form of vitamin A.

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Tretinoin use by pregnant women can cause birth defects.

Yes, tretinoin is extremely dangerous for pregnant women -- it usually leads to miscarriage, but also to severe birth defects.

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

Tretinoin in pill form is a definite no-no, but topical products are still slightly risky.

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

The iPledge program is for women of child-bearing age. Because tretinoin can cause miscarriage and birth defects, women must be extra careful not to get pregnant while taking the drug.

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Tretinoin is sold only with a prescription.

You can get over-the-counter medications that contain tretinoin, but the prescription-strength products are stronger.

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Oral tretinoin should be taken with the antibiotic tetracycline.

You get double the acne-fighting power if you take tetracycline along with tretinoin. The tretinoin keeps your pores from getting plugged with oil, and the antibiotic kills bacteria.

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Tretinoin causes sensitvity to the sun.

Tretinoin does cause sensitivity to the sun. You shouldn't take it if you're already sunburned, and you shouldn't expose yourself to a lot of sun while you're taking it.

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

The FDA approved topical tretinoin for this purpose in 1995, so it's totally in the clear.

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

Sorry -- no product can reverse aging. Staying out of the sun is about the only way to slow things down.

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About This Quiz

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.

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