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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1992 Feb;26(2 Pt 1):215-24.

Tretinoin emollient cream: a new therapy for photodamaged skin.

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Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710.



Tretinoin administered topically in 0.1% concentration has been shown to improve the wrinkling and irregular pigmentation of photoaged skin.


The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of various concentrations of tretinoin in a new emollient cream base in the treatment of photoaged skin.


Three concentrations of tretinoin (0.05%, 0.01%, and 0.001%) in a new emollient cream formulation were compared with vehicle in a 24-week, double-blind, randomized, multicenter study of 296 subjects with photodamaged facial skin.


Tretinoin emollient cream 0.05% gave a significantly better global response to therapy than vehicle (p less than 0.001), with 68% of subjects exhibiting improvement at the end of therapy, compared with 43% of subjects in the vehicle group. An excellent or good response was found in 26% of subjects treated with tretinoin emollient cream 0.05% versus 11% of vehicle-treated subjects. Fine wrinkling, mottled hyperpigmentation, and roughness were more improved in subjects who received tretinoin emollient cream 0.05% than in vehicle-treated subjects (p less than 0.05). No significant difference was found between vehicle and tretinoin emollient cream 0.01% or 0.001%. Histologic examination showed increases in epidermal and granular layer thickness, decreased melanin content and compaction of the stratum corneum after therapy with tretinoin emollient cream 0.05% or 0.01%. Mild to moderate skin reactions, such as erythema, peeling, and burning, were the most common side effects and, although most prevalent in the group using the 0.05% concentration, generally did not limit tretinoin use.


Tretinoin emollient cream 0.05% appears to be safe and effective in the treatment of photodamaged skin.

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