Tretinoin is a member of the topical retinoid
family. This family of medications which includes
Retin-a, Avita, Atralin, Differin (adapalene) and
Tazorac (tazarotene) is more commonly used in the
treatment of acne.
The retinoids work in many ways, but one of which is by
improving keratinization, or the process by which the skin
turns over. It helps to make the skin less "sticky"
allowing the dead skin to desquamate or come off. In
doing so, tretinoin and the other retinoids may cause some mild
The therapeutic effect of tretinoin
molluscum treatment is that through this mild irritant
mechanism of action, it may help remove the molluscum as these
viral bumps sit very high up in the upper layers of the
Treatment with tretinoin and other retinoids often can take
longer periods of time. There are not many studies that
support the efficacy of this treatment but there are case
reports of successes1.
The nice part about this treatment is that it is typically
painless with only a small potential for mild irritation at the
application site of the topical medications.
1Dermatol Online J. 2007
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