Can Tretinoin Gel (0.05%) be used on healthy/normal skin?

Over the summer, I broke out with acne for the first time. After a few weeks on clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide, nearly all the spots are clear. Now I am looking to use the tertian gel as a continued therapy, to keep the blemishes from coming back. I am wondering if using the gel on the surrounding health/normal skin could exacerbate more breakouts. Is it safe to use it on healthy skin? I am twenty years old.

Doctor Answers 2

Tretinoin for normal skin?

It is the best anti-aging topical available and I think that everyone should be on it. It has years of research and studies behind it. It will improve skin turnover, hydration, hyaluronic acid content, acne/blemishes, pigmentation, pore size, superficial wrinkles, and much more. 

Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews


Thank you for your question.  Tretinoin can safely be used on healthy skin and is in fact recommended by almost all Dermatologist for its beneficial effects that extend beyond its effect on acne.  Initially the first 2-4 weeks you use tretinoin it can make you break out so you may want to use it every 3rd night for a few weeks and then every 2nd as tolerated until you can get to every night.  Regards, Dr. Matt Elias

Matthew Elias, DO, FAAD
Fort Lauderdale Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.