Tazorac Cream (Tazarotene)
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Tazorac Cream (Tazarotene) Medication Information
Tazorac Cream is a medicated prescription cream used to treat two different skin conditions: facial acne or plaque psoriasis. Tazorac Cream contains the active ingredient tazarotene.
Acne (pimples) is a common skin condition that can occur when pores become clogged. Acne breakouts on the face and body are most common in adolescence but can often happen to adults.
Psoriasis is a condition that causes inflammation in the body. This inflammation can lead to areas of built-up skin cells called plaques. Plaques appear as raised, grayish scaly patches of skin. They can be itchy and painful. There is no cure for plaque psoriasis, but avoiding specific triggers and using prescription medications can reduce flare-ups.
Tazorac Cream comes in two strengths: 0.05% and 0.1%. There are two sizes of each strength available: 30-gram and 60-gram tubes.
Tazorac Cream, 0.1% strength, is used to treat acne in adults and adolescents ages 12 years and older.
Both Tazorac Cream strengths may be used for plaque psoriasis, but its use for this condition hasn’t been tested in people under age 18.
Apply a thin layer of Tazorac Cream one time each day, in the evening, or as instructed by your healthcare provider.
Tazorac Cream may not be safe for everyone. Before using Tazorac Cream, be sure to let your doctor know if you have any of the following conditions:
- Pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- Eczema or any other skin problems
- Past allergic reaction to Tazorac or its ingredients
If you become pregnant while using Tazorac Cream, stop using it, and contact your doctor immediately.
Tazorac Cream can cause side effects in some people.
The most common side effects of Tazorac Cream include skin irritation, including:
- Dry skin
- Worsened psoriasis
- Sunlight sensitivity (higher risk of sunburn)
Only use a thin layer of Tazorac Cream on affected plaques or acne areas to reduce the chance of skin irritation.
If you experience bothersome side effects with this product, talk to your doctor. They may instruct you to use the product less often or prescribe a lower strength.
Certain products or medications may make your skin more dry or sensitive to sunlight while using Tazorac Cream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking new medicines or using new products.
Store Tazorac Cream at room temperature, 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).
- Your skin should be clean and dry before applying Tazorac Cream.
- Apply a thin layer of Tazorac Cream only to the affected acne or psoriasis plaques. Tazorac Cream may cause severe irritation if applied to surrounding skin or areas with eczema.
- Always wear protective sunscreen, clothing, and a hat in the sun. If you do get a sunburn, stop using Tazorac Cream until the skin heals.
Why do I need to take a pregnancy test before starting Tazorac Cream?
Tazorac Cream may cause serious disabilities if used during pregnancy. For females who can get pregnant, your doctor will order a pregnancy test before using Tazorac Cream. You must use an effective form of birth control consistently while using this treatment.
Will Tazorac Cream help get rid of my wrinkles and dark spots?
Some clinical studies have shown that the active ingredient, tazarotene, can reduce skin wrinkles and dark spots, often caused by sun exposure. Talk with your doctor if you are interested in this “off-label” use of Tazorac Cream.
How long does Tazorac Cream take to work for acne or psoriasis?
You may notice small improvements after 1 to 2 weeks of using Tazorac Cream. But it usually takes up to 12 weeks of daily use to see the full benefits of this treatment.
- Tazorac Cream Prescribing Information. Irvine, CA: Allergan; 2017. https://media.allergan.com/actavis/actavis/media/allergan-pdf-documents/product-prescribing/2017-TAZORAC-Cream-USPI-FINAL_8-7-17.pdf Accessed January 24, 2021.
- About Psoriasis. National Psoriasis Foundation; 2020. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/ Accessed January 24, 2021.
- What is Acne? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; 2020. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/acne Accessed January 24, 2021.
- Wrinkles. Manríquez, J. et al.; 2014. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25569867/, Accessed January 24, 2021.
Author: Dr. Patricia Weiser, PharmD
Patricia Weiser, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist and medical writer. She has clinical experience in community and hospital pharmacy. Patricia is a 2007 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.