Compare Renova vs. Accutane

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

ADVERTISEMENT

Renova (Tretinoin)

Prescription only

Accutane (isotretinoin)

Prescription only
Treats acne and sun damage.

Renova (Tretinoin) isn't a cure for fine lines and wrinkles, but it's clinically proven to improve them.

3.1/ 5 average rating with 58 reviewsforRenova
Treats severe acne.

Accutane (isotretinoin) works well against severe acne but has a lot of serious side effects. You will need to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 101 reviewsforAccutane
Upsides
  • You only need to apply it once a day, usually in the evening.
  • Most people who reported having skin irritation said that it was mild.
  • Part of a complete program to help you take better care of your skin.
  • Works well to clear your skin when other medicines have not worked for you.
  • Most people experience clear skin after just one course of treatment. Clear skin can last for some time even after you've stopped taking Accutane (isotretinoin).
  • You only have to take Accutane (isotretinoin) once or twice a day.
Downsides
  • It may take up to 6 months to see the full benefit for facial wrinkles.
  • Not a good choice for women who want to become or are pregnant
  • Can change the color and texture of your skin if used long-term.
  • You need to be careful about avoiding any sunlight or artificial tanning while using it.
  • It doesn't work for deep wrinkles.
  • Accutane (isotretinoin) can raise your blood sugar levels. Your doctor may have to monitor your sugar levels more frequently.
  • If you play sports a lot, you may be at higher risk of bone fractures.
  • You'll have to see your doctor every time to get a refill of Accutane (isotretinoin) because of the high risk of birth defects.
  • Can cause serious bowel problems. Talk to your doctor if you experience loose stools, blood in the stools, or bad belly pain.
  • Can damage your liver. Your doctor will do regular blood tests to make sure it's healthy.
ADVERTISEMENT
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
Reviews
58 reviews so far
41%
saidit'sworth it
28%
saiditworked well
28%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Renova (Tretinoin)?

Leave a review
101 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
36%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Accutane (isotretinoin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Mild skin reactions
    100%
  • Severe local irritation
    7%
  • Any side effect
    4%
  • Skin hypo- or hyperpigmentation
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Accutane (isotretinoin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Allergic reactions
    • Allergy to fish or fish products
  • Harm to fetus
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Harm to fetus
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression or other psychiatric condition
  • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Increased alcohol
  • Serious skin reaction
  • Bone fractures
    • History of childhood osteoporosis or bone conditions
    • Anorexia nervosa
    • Taking anticonvulsant medicines
    • Taking corticosteroids
    • Problems with vitamin D breakdown
    • Longer-term therapy with Accutane (isotretinoin)
  • Eye problems
    • History of eye problems
See more detailed risks and warnings