Retinoid – Tazarotene acne treatment

Tazarotene belongs to a family of chemicals known as retinoid. It used to treat psoriasis, mild or moderate acne, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation of the skin. Tazarotene is a designer retinoid which means that this chemical does not occur naturally even though it mimics the effects of vitamin-A on the skin.

II. How does Tazarotene works on acne?

The exact mechanism of how Tazarotene works is still unknown. It is thought that the active form of Tazarotene which is Tazarotenic Acid binds to the retinoic acid receptors of the skin and may affect gene expression. Tazarotene is believed to normalize the process of Keratinization and decrease the cohesive bonding of follicular keratinocytes therefore this drug is able to reduce the formation of microcomedones. In simplistic terms Tazorac promotes increased skin cell turnover or “peeling” which is common with other retinoids. The “peeling” effect unplugs the pore preventing the formation of whiteheads and blackheads.


Less irritating compared to tretinoin.


A high percentage of patients with moderately severe to severe acne can maintain improvement in their condition with topical retinoid monotherapy. Maintenance with combination tazarotene and minocycline therapy showed a trend for greater efficacy but no statistical significance vs tazarotene alone. Topical retinoid monotherapy should be considered for maintenance to help minimize antibiotic exposure.
( Source: Comparison of tazarotene and minocycline maintenance therapies in acne vulgaris: a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group study.1: Arch Dermatol. 2006 May;142(5):605-12.)

Tazarotene was observed to have greater efficacy and comparable tolerability and to be a cost-effective alternative to tretinoin 0.1% microsponge gel.
( Source: Once-daily tazarotene 0.1 % gel versus once-daily tretinoin 0.1 % microsponge gel for the treatment of facial acne vulgaris: a double-blind randomized trial.1: Cutis. 2002 Feb;69(2 Suppl):12-9.)

These results indicate that topical tazarotene 0.1% gel and cream are efficacious and well-tolerated treatment options for clearing acne vulgaris across a broad range of patients.
( Source: Meta-analysis of topical tazarotene in the treatment of mild to moderate acne.1: Cutis. 2004 Oct;74(4 Suppl):9-15.)

III. Forms,Dosage and Administration

Prescription Gel and Cream in concentrations of 0.05% and 0.1%

IV. Precautions

Avoid using Tazaroretene if you are pregnant or is planning to have pregnancy. Avoid using other products with high alcohol content and products that contains keratolytic or peeling agents. Do not use this medication over wounds or areas of the skin with eczema. Always use a sun block at least SPF 15 when going in places that are exposed to sunlight. Tazorac may also interact with major tranquilizers, quinoline antibiotics, sulfa drugs, tetracycline and some types of water pills.

V. Side Effects

Irritation of the skin, sun sensitivity, worsening of acne for the first few weeks,dry skin, itchiness


Tazorac®, Avage® and Zorac®

References ( 2007 Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA 92612 ) ( Data on file, Allergan, Inc. 2007)

Shalita A, Miller B, Menter A, Abramovits W, Loven K, Kakita L. Tazarotene cream versus adapalene cream in the treatment of facial acne vulgaris: a multicenter, double-blind, randomized parallel-group study. J Drugs Dermatol. 2005;4(2):153-158.

Webster GF, Guenther L, Poulin YP, Solomon BA, Loven K, Lee J. A multicenter, double-blind, randomized comparison study of the efficacy and tolerability of once-daily tazarotene 0.1% gel and adapalene 0.1% gel for the treatment of facial acne vulgaris. Cutis. 2002;69(suppl 2):4-11.

Leyden JJ, Tanghetti EA, Miller B, Ling M, Berson D, Lee J. Once-daily tazarotene 0.1% gel versus once-daily tretinoin 0.1% microsponge gel for the treatment of facial acne vulgaris: a double-blind randomized trial. Cutis. 2002;69(suppl 2):12-19.

Webster GF, Berson D, Stein LF, Fivenson DP, Tanghetti EA, Ling M. Efficacy and tolerability of once-daily tazarotene 0.1% gel versus once-daily tretinoin 0.025% gel in the treatment of facial acne vulgaris: a randomized trial. Cutis. 2001;67(suppl 6):4-9.

Tazarotene for Acne | Tazarotene acne treatment | Acne treatment using Tazarotene | Tazarotene Acne

Comments are closed.