13-cis-Retinoic acid is a vitamin A analog that inhibits cell proliferation and induces cell differentiation. Clinically, 13-cis-Retinoic acid is primarily used in the treatment of severe recalcitrant nodular acne. Its effects include reducing the production of sebum, shrinking the size of the sebaceous glands, stabilizing keratinization, preventing comedones from forming, and reducing inflammation of inflammatory acne. Though the exact mechanism of action of 13-cis-Retinoic acid is not fully understood, studies have suggested that the compound alters DNA transcription and induces apoptosis in select types of cells throughout the body.
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