tre·​tin·​o·​in | \ tre-ˈti-nə-win How to pronounce tretinoin (audio) \

Definition of tretinoin

: 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 My greasiness is partly genetics—my dad’s side of the family has acne-prone skin—and partly prescription tretinoin use, which yes, helps eliminate breakouts but also dries out my face and causes my skin to overcompensate with excess oil production. Ariana Yaptangco, Glamour, 15 June 2022 So benzoyl peroxide could potentially react with tretinoin and deactivate it in the process. Kirbie Johnson, Allure, 1 Apr. 2022 These soothing, healing ingredients are preferred over tretinoin and high concentrations of acids because those with acne tend to have incredibly sensitive and inflamed skin. Devon Abelman, Allure, 16 Feb. 2022 See a dermatologist about tretinoin, laser treatments or chemical peels. Adele Jackson-gibson, Good Housekeeping, 8 Nov. 2021 Adding in the glycolic helps with brightening and the chemicals exfoliate the skin in a way that's a little bit different from the tretinoin or a harsh scrub. Ariana Yaptangco, Glamour, 10 Nov. 2021 Venturing out into the world to see a dermatologist for a tretinoin prescription terrified me. Devon Abelman, Allure, 20 Sep. 2021 The Derm-Recommended Adult Acne Treatment Prescription topical retinoids—and tretinoin, specifically—are textbook examples of treatments known for drying out skin. Beth Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 20 July 2021 Benzoyl peroxide can oxidize and degrade tretinoin, Chan notes. Devon Abelman, Allure, 1 June 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tretinoin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tretinoin

1970, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tretinoin

perhaps from trans- + retinoic acid

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The first known use of tretinoin was in 1970

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Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tretinoin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for tretinoin


tre·​tin·​o·​in | \ tre-ˈtin-ə-wən How to pronounce tretinoin (audio) \

Medical Definition of tretinoin

: 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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