Among the many newly emerging trends in dermatology, three areas of general medical interest are the therapeutic uses of retinoids, some new observations on Kaposi's sarcoma, and the increasing recognition of the malignant potential of some prelymphomatous "pseudolymphomatous" states.
The retinoids include vitamin A, its derivatives, and its analogues. Vitamin A (retinol) has long been known to have favorable effects on many disorders of keratinization, but these benefits have been limited by the toxic effects of vitamin A at therapeutic doses. Tretinoin (all transretinoic acid), the acid derivative of vitamin A, has been widely used topically; systemically, it is quite toxic, inducing the hypervitaminosis A syndrome at therapeutic doses.The search for therapeutically effective but less toxic agents has resulted in the emergence of a few promising compounds from more than 1,000 synthesized retinoids. A recent report on extensive basic and therapeutic studies of retinoids has documented the current
Pearson RW. Dermatology. JAMA. 1982;247(21):2946–2947. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320460046016