Does Tretinoin Uncover Previously Unseen Pitted Acne Scars?

I have been using tretinoin for the past eight months, and about two months ago I started noticing more indented acne scars, pits on my face. Tretinoin really cleared up my acne, faded sun spots, and for a while my skin was very smooth, with only two pitted acne spots on my left cheek. No there are quite a few more there and also on my right cheek. Will the scars eventually fill in with continued use of tretinoin? I'm afraid I will uncover yet more scars if I continue.

Doctor Answers 2

Tretinoin does not cause scarring

Tretinoin is a very effective at clearing acne as a topical retinoid is included in almost all acne regimens.  As raised acne pimples/pustules/cysts resolve, the topography of the skin changes and begins to become more level.  Unfortunately, some of the acne lesions have damaged the skin resulting in dermal scarring which can lead to pits and depressions in the skin.  I counsel my patients with acne scarring to continue tretinoin as it can have a remodeling effect on the dermis (second layer of skin) that may take up to a year to appreciate.

Houston Dermatologist

Clearing acne may unmask scars

By clearing your acne, you may have unmasked underlying acne scars. The good news is that tretinoin can stimulate collagen production and scar remodeling improving their appearance.

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist
3.3 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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