Topical retinoids have been an important part of standard treatment of acne for several decades. Many dermatologists as well as many other skin care professionals recommend retinoids to be used as first line therapy for non-inflammtory acne and mild to moderate inflammatory acne.
Topical Retinoids for acne are believed to act by increasing skin cell turnover. They promote the extrusion of plugged material in blackheads and whiteheads, and they also may prevent the formation of new comedones.
As in other areas of medicine, common goals in acne treatment are to provide greatest efficacy with fewest unwanted side effects. When using retinoids for acne treatment needs to be individualized based on a range of patient needs and desires. Given potential differences among retinoid agents, some topical retinoids may seem to be better or less well suited to the needs of a particular patient.
Individuals may have lifestyles or priorities that may make the perceived profiles of certain topical retinoids more or less appealing. Some individuals may place a high value on a more rapid therapeutic effect, some individuals are frequently out in the sun, some have a greater willingness to accept oiliness, irritation or other side effects that can occur depending on the individual's type of skin.