The main difference between retinoic acid and tretinoin is that retinoic acid is a naturally occurring derivative of vitamin A, whereas tretinoin is a synthetic derivative of vitamin A.
Retinoic acid and tretinoin are two closely related compounds used in dermatology to treat various skin conditions.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Retinoic Acid
– Definition, Functions, Production
2. What is Tretinoin
– Definition, Functions, Production
3. Similarities Between Retinoic Acid and Tretinoin
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Retinoic Acid and Tretinoin
– Comparison of Key Differences
Retinoic Acid, Tretinoin
What is Retinoic Acid
Retinoic acid is a naturally occurring compound derived from vitamin A. It is produced in the body from retinol. It is also present in some foods such as liver and eggs. In the body, retinol is converted into retinaldehyde, which is then converted into retinoic acid by specific enzymes. Retinoic acid binds to specific receptors on the surface of retinoic acid receptors and regulates the expression of specific genes.
Retinoic acid is a regulator of cell growth and differentiation in the body; it helps develop and maintain various tissues and organs, including skin, eyes, respiratory and digestive systems. It is also involved in the regulation of immune function and inflammation. Retinoic acid regulates the expression of specific genes by binding to RARs, which are transcription factors that bind to DNA and regulate the transcription of genes.
Retinoic acid induces the expression of genes involved in cell differentiation, such as keratinocyte differentiation in the skin. It even inhibits the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, such as cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases. Another function of retinoic acid is the modulation of several cell signaling pathways, including the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, the phosphatidylinositol 3 – kinase pathway, and the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Retinoic acid induces apoptosis which is the programmed cell death that removes the damaged and unwanted cells from the body. Particularly, it induces apoptosis in cancer cells and in immune cells such as T- cells.
What is Tretinoin
Tretinoin is a synthetic derivative of retinoic acid. Tretinoin works by binding to retinoic acid receptors on the surface of the cells. RAR are transcription factors that regulate gene expression in cell growth and differentiation. When tretinoin binds to RARs, it increases the expression of genes in the turnover of skin cells.
Tretinoin also has anti-inflammatory effects. This effect helps in the reduction of redness and inflammation associated with acne and other skin conditions. It also stimulates the production of collagen and other proteins in the skin, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Therapeutic uses of the compound include suppression of acne, photoaging, and hyperpigmentation. In acne treatment, it is especially effective for the treatment of comedonal acne. It also helps to unclog the pores and reduce the formation of acne lesions. It is used to treat inflammatory acne too. In photoaging, tretinoin helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve the texture and the tone of the skin, increase the production of collagen and other proteins in the skin, and reduce the appearance of sunspots and other signs of sun damage.
Tretinoin helps in curing hyperpigmentation by reducing the production of melanin and promoting the turnover of skin cells. Though there are beneficial uses, there are side effects of using tretinoin. The common side effects include dryness, redness, and peeling of the skin. It causes photosensitivity too.
Similarities Between Retinoic Acid and Tretinoin
- Retinoic acid and tretinoin are derivatives of vitamin A.
- Both are useful compounds in dermatology.
Difference Between Retinoic Acid and Tretinoin
Retinoic acid is a naturally occurring derivative of vitamin A, whereas tretinoin is a synthetic derivative of vitamin A.
The body naturally produces retinoic acid, while the body cannot naturally produce tretinoin.
Functions of retinoic acid include regulation of cell growth and differentiation, regulation of immune functions, regulation of expression of specific genes, modulation of several cell signaling pathways, and inducing apoptosis, while functions of tretinoin include treating acne, fading hyperpigmentation, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and preventing and treating photoaging.
Retinoic acid and tretinoin are two closely related compounds that are used in dermatology for the treatment of various skin conditions. The main difference between retinoic acid and tretinoin is that retinoic acid is a naturally occurring derivative of vitamin A, whereas tretinoin is a synthetic derivative of vitamin A.
1. “Tretinoin 0.025 % Topical Cream – Uses, Side Effects, and More.” WebMD.
2. “What is Retinoic Acid?” News Medical.net
1. “Retinoic acid 3D ball.” By Jynto (talk) – This image was created with Discovery Studio Visualizer. (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Tretinoin Structure” By 陳弈豪 – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia