tre·​tin·​o·​in tre-ˈti-nə-win How to pronounce tretinoin (audio)
: the all-trans isomer of retinoic acid that is applied to the skin to treat severe acne and reduce facial wrinkles, roughness, and pigmented spots

Examples of tretinoin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Maureen was given tretinoin, which is often used to treat acne. Celeste Polanco, Essence, 18 Jan. 2024 How to Use Tretinoin There is a right—and wrong—way to use tretinoin in your skin care routine. Audrey Noble, Vogue, 18 Jan. 2024 Prescription retinoids, such as tretinoin, are the most effective iterations, but there are some impressive over-the-counter options too, like Medik8’s Crystal Retinal and Roc’s Retinol Correxion Night Cream. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 2 Jan. 2024 This includes chemical exfoliants, like retinol, tretinoin and other acids, or active vitamins, like vitamin C. Essence, 29 Nov. 2023 While prescription-grade retinol (known as tretinoin) may be more effective, this over-the-counter retinol can help fade spots while reducing fine lines. Kayla Blanton, Verywell Health, 22 Sep. 2023 Like tretinoin, azelaic acid speeds up cell turnover and smooths the skin. Angela Palmer Updated, Verywell Health, 23 Aug. 2023 Add Retinol Retinol, a prescription-grade tretinoin, is a must-have skin care ingredient in your thirties. Shelby Stewart and India Espy-Jones, Essence, 1 Sep. 2023 Retinol is derived from Vitamin A, found in over-the-counter skincare products as the milder version of prescription retinoic acid or tretinoin, says dermatologist Sheila Farhang, MD. Addison Aloian, Women's Health, 4 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tretinoin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps from trans- + retinoic acid

First Known Use

1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tretinoin was in 1970

Dictionary Entries Near tretinoin

Cite this Entry

“Tretinoin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


tre·​tin·​o·​in tre-ˈtin-ə-wən How to pronounce tretinoin (audio)
: the all-trans isomer of retinoic acid that is applied topically to the skin to treat acne vulgaris and to reduce facial wrinkles, roughness, and pigmented spots and that is administered orally to induce remission of acute myelogenous leukemia in which more than half the cells are malignant promyelocytes

called also all-trans-retinoic acid, retinoic acid, vitamin A acid

see isotretinoin, retin-a
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