Tazorotene commonly called Tazorac is a prescription topical retinoid sold as a cream or gel. This medication is approved for treatment of Psoriasis, Acne and sun damaged skin (Photodamage). It is commonly sold in two concentrations: 0.05% and 0.1%. more...
Common side effects include worsening of acne, dry skin, itchiness, redness and in some cases extreme drying and cracking of skin. For most patients these side-effect are uncomfortable but mild and decrease markedly after the first 2-4 weeks of use.
For best results dermatologists recommend applying the cream or gel once daily before bedtime after washing the face with a mild soap.
When treating acne Tazarotene may be taken in conjunction with an oral antibiotic. To prevent resistance to the antibiotics a topical retinoid must be used. Results take at least 12 weeks to see optimum improvement. While Tazarotene's exact mechanism of action is unknown, it is thought that its effect on acne may be in part due to a reduction in sebum production.
Tazarotene has recently been approved for the treatment of photodamaged skin. Tazarotene has been shown in peer-reviewed double blinded studies to reduce: mottling and hyperpigmentation, sallowness, fine wrinkling and coarse wrinkling in sun damaged skin. Histological studies have shown that long term (greater than 1 year) use of Tazarotene is associated with a significant reduction in atypical melanocytes and keratocytes - cells considered to be precursors of skin cancer. Some studies have shown long term use of Tazarotene to be associated with increased collagen production and better organization of skin collagen bundles.
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