Retinoid (Tretinoin) Cream for Warts

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Retinoid (Tretinoin) Cream for Warts


Generic NameBrand Name
tretinoinRenova, Retin-A, Retisol-A

How It Works

Tretinoin is derived from vitamin A, one of a class of substances called retinoids. Retinoid cream disrupts the wart's skin cell growth. Follow your health professional's instructions for applying it at home.

Why It Is Used

Retinoids are commonly used to treat acne and aging skin.

How Well It Works

Experts don't know whether tretinoin cream is an effective treatment for common warts.

Side Effects

Oral use of retinoid medicine is linked with serious birth defects. So tretinoin cream is not recommended for pregnant women.

When applied to the skin, tretinoin cream can cause:

  • Dry, irritated skin.
  • Changes in skin colour.
  • Sunlight sensitivity (requiring sunscreen use or covering of treated skin).
  • Red, swollen, crusted, or blistered skin.

Overuse of tretinoin cream can increase skin irritation without improving treatment results.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Tretinoin safety data for children and breast-feeding women is not well established.

Tretinoin treatment of women who are or could be pregnant is not recommended.

Do not use tretinoin cream in combination with another topical treatment, such as salicylic acid, because significant skin irritation can result.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
Last Revised December 2, 2010

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.