Does Applying Products Containing Tretinion Topically Count Towards RDA of Vitamin A?

I think the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A taken internally is 1.5mg. But when I use products like Retin - A, which is in cream form applied topically, should I take that into consideration too in making sure that I dont exceed my daily allowance of vitamin A? Doesn't that also get absorbed by my body?

Doctor Answers 2

Applying Retin A does not go towards the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A

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Taking oral retinoids and vitamin A together, on the other hand, may result in symptoms of excess vitamin A (hypervitaminosis A).  So when taking oral retinoids, check your vitamins to make sure you are not taking extra vitamin A.

Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Tretinoin and vitamin A

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Interesting question.  Tretinoin and vitamin A are related compounds, but not identical.  A certain (small) percentage of Vitamin A is converted to tretinoin by the body.  Applying tretinoin topically, however, should have no bearing on vitamin A supplementation.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

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