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retinoid (ret-in-oid) n. one of a group of drugs derived from vitamin A that act on the skin to cause drying and peeling and a reduction in oil (sebum) production. Retinoids include isotretinoin and tretinoin; they are used in the treatment of severe acne, psoriasis, ichthyosis, and other skin disorders. Possible side-effects, which may be serious, include severe fetal abnormalities (if taken by pregnant women), toxic effects on babies (if taken by breast-feeding mothers), and liver and kidney damage.