What are the uses, benefits, efficacy, and side effects of Tretinoin


When the reality that there’s very little difference between steroid and ordinary acne, it stands to reason that the same types of treatments can be used for treating both acne types. For instance in bodybuilding, Tretin, Isotretinoin, and Tretinoin, can be used for getting rid of your steroid acne and save you from the embarrassment of attending an international competition while suffering from an acne breakout or scarring. Read on.

Steering clear of steroid acne

Obviously the first question that needs asking is what steroid acne is and the second is how do you avoid it?

Briefly, it’s a vitamin A derivative that’s also commonly known as a retinoid and is the active ingredient for prescription-strength treatments of acne.

In addition to combating acne it also has the ability of improving the fine lines and dark spots which are caused by damage from sunlight.

Tretinoin is used as the generic name and active ingredient of synthetically produced vitamin A treatments such as:

  • Retin-A
  • Refissa
  • Atralin
  • Renova
  • Avita

How is retinoin used for treating steroid acne?

This treatment Is available in topical forms which means that it’s applied directly to the outer surface of your skin as a gel, a cream and also as an oral medication known as Isotretinoin as mentioned earlier.

It’s also beneficial to disclose that the FDA has approved topical forms of Tretinoin for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

The FDA has likewise approved the use of oral Tretinoin, for the treatment of severe nodular or the large red painful acne nodules.

Some of the known benefits of Tretinoin

Several benefits can be realized following the use of Tretinoin in treating steroid acne. As a bodybuilder or athlete, you need to know them so that you become confident in taking the treatment.

Some of the benefits that Tretinoin has include:

  • clearing up existing acne that have developed
  • reducing the unattractive fine dark lines and dark sports left by acne infestation
  • improvement of skin texture and making your skin to look more attractive and presentable
  • reduction in the frequency and severity of your acne outbreaks in the future.

As a retinoid treatment, the role of generic tretinoin is the stimulation and active generation of skin cells, which means that cells grow faster and divide quicker to produce more cells in lesst time.

The benefit of this rapid growth process makes it possible for the equally rapid removal of dead skin cells which means that the pores are always kept clear and clean of dead skin cells.

The clean and clear environment of the area around your pores preventing bacteria from developing, surviving and multiplying and future acne outbreaks are prevented from taking place.

According to a review that was done in 2016, it was disclosed that the use of topical tretinoin actually increases the amount of collagen produced in the body and also help the generations of the production in cell production.

Again both of these resultant effects of tretinoin may also help reduce the development of lines and wrinkles on your rippling muscle mass form during your competition.

In another review that was conducted in 2017, it was clearly stated that tretinoin also has the propensity of blocking some of the inflammatory channels that are involved in the formation and breakout of acne.

This ability by tretinoin may also help to cear away existing lesions of acne and impede the progress of acne outbreaks in the future.

The efficacious nature of Tretinoin revealed

It would have been Impossible to reveal the actual effectiveness of Tretinoin in the treatment of steroid acne if scientists hadn’t conducted revealing reviews on its potential as a treatment for steroid acne.

In a collection of studies and reviews, scientists revealed the healing properties of Tretinoin and established its efficacy to all who suffer from acne including steroid acne.

In a review conducted in 2017 scientists cited clinical evidence which supported the application of topical tretinoin peels for treating skin damaged by the sun.

During a study conducted in 2019, a lotion that contained only 0.05% tretinoin was able to help reduce both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions in adolescents aged between 12 – 18 years.

An additional review concluded that both oral and topical tretinoin are indeed effective treatments for inflammatory acne in adults as well as in adolescents.

In addition to these official indicators about the effectiveness of tretinoin, it seems also likely that on its own, this treatment is effective and even more so in combination with acne treatment such as:

  • clindamycin
  • benzoyl peroxide
  • azelaic acid

The Tretinoin side effects

For your bodybuilding career, tt’s even more important for you to know and understand the information surrounding the side effects of tretinoin.

Though highly effective as a topical treatment, tretinoin also causes side effects such as:

  • paling of the skin around the area being treated
  • itching or burning around the treated area
  • the skin becomes warm upon being touched
  • skin that’s dry, red, or tends to peel off.

Oral tretinoin can cause the following side effects:

An important side effect that tretinoin can cause is one that can result in congenital disabilities. Because of this, doctors have not recommended this treatment to be offered to women who plan to become pregnant, those who actually pregnant or breastfeeding their child.

Retinol may be a better option

There are many problems that a bodybuilder especially a female bodybuilder may face during cyclic workouts. You may for instance have sensitive skin which doesn’t go well with tretinoin.

You may prefer a natural derivative of vitamin A and you may find retinol as a more appropriate choice and you’d be correct.

Retinol is in fact a natural derivative of vitamin A and is therefore less irritating than tretinoin which will perfectly suit your needs.

The suitability of retinol was established in a study which was done in 2015 where 120 were treated with tretinoin and retinol. Both treatments were equally able to improve:

  • sun-damaged skin
  • uneven skin pigmentation
  • status of the pores
  • the discomforting presence of wrinkles.

The telling result of the study was that fewer women who were treated with retinol reported adverse side effects than those treated with tretinoin.

Bottom line

Exactly the right kind of treatment for getting rid of steroid acne is needed if it is to prove effective in  enabling a bodybuilder to maintain his/her cyclic regimen despite being infected with acne. Being able to do so means they can achieve their goals, Sometimes, it depends on the type of treatment available and tretinoin is the most effective not only as a topical cream or gel but also as an oral tablet.


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