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Retin-A Cream and Pregnancy - Is it safe?

Q: Can I use Retin-A Cream during pregnancy?

A: Retin-A is a cream applied to the skin. It is used to treat acne and other skin problems. The generic name of Retin-A is 'tretinoin,' a drug that belongs to a group of medications called the RETINOIDS, which are medications related to vitamin A. Other medications in the retinoid family are Accutane (isotretinoin), Differin gel (adapalene), and etretinate. Certain birth defects can occur when women take Accutane in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Accutane is taken by mouth, while Retin-A is taken as a cream.

In general, the less Retin-A that is used on the mother's skin, the less likely there will be risks to the baby. Many reports claim that the use of Retin A cream is not associated with pregnancy problems, but there are some reports of an association with fetal malformations. (Camera G, Pregliasco P: Ear malformation in baby born to mother using tretinoin cream. (letter) Lancet 339:687, 1992. Lipson AH, Collins F, Webster WS: Multiple congenital defects associated with maternal use of topical tretinoin. Lancet 341:1352-3, 1993.) If you want to make 100% sure that there are no problems, then you should stop using Retin A cream before pregnancy.

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