Tazorac Gel (Tazarotene) Medication Information
Tazorac Gel is a prescription medicine used on the skin to treat facial acne or plaque psoriasis. Tazorac Gel contains the active ingredient tazarotene and belongs to the retinoid drug class.
Acne (pimples or zits) is a common condition that happens when skin pores become clogged. Acne breakouts on the face and body are most common in teens but can continue into adulthood.
Psoriasis is a disease that causes inflammation in the body. This inflammation can lead to areas of built-up skin cells called plaques. Plaques appear as raised, silver or 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 treatments can help.
Tazorac Gel comes in two strengths: 0.05% and 0.1%. Two sizes of each strength are available: 30-gram and 100-gram tubes.
Apply Tazorac Gel one time each day, in the evening.
Tazorac Gel is not safe for everyone. It isn’t known if Tazorac gel is safe for use in children under 12. Tazorac is not recommended for large areas of psoriasis or acne, covering more than 20% of the body.
Before using Tazorac Gel, 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 Gel, stop using it, and contact your doctor immediately.
The most common side effects of Tazorac Gel depend on your reason for using it.
With Tazorac Gel for acne, the most common side effects are peeling, burning, dry skin, redness, and itching.
With Tazorac Gel for plaque psoriasis, the most common side effects are itching, burning, redness, worsened psoriasis, and skin pain.
Regardless of your condition, Tazorac Gel can rarely cause the following serious side effects:
- Skin irritation
- Sunlight sensitivity
To reduce the chance of skin irritation, only use a thin layer of Tazorac Gel on affected plaques or acne areas. Always wear protective sunscreen, clothing, and a hat in the sun. If you do get a sunburn, stop using Tazorac Gel until the skin heals.
Don’t use skin products or cosmetics that make your skin dry while using Tazorac Gel. You should also avoid medications that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Store Tazorac Gel at room temperature (77°F or 25°C).
- Skin should be clean and dry before applying Tazorac Gel.
- Apply a thin layer of Tazorac Gel only to the affected acne or plaque areas. Tazorac Gel may cause severe irritation if applied to unaffected skin or areas with eczema.
- Do not apply Tazorac Gel to the mouth, vagina, or eye area.
Tazorac Gel FAQs
Why do I need to take a pregnancy test before starting Tazorac Gel?
Tazorac Gel may cause congenital disabilities if used during pregnancy. For females who can get pregnant, your doctor will order a pregnancy test before using Tazorac Gel. You must use an effective form of birth control during treatment with Tazorac Gel.
Is it true that Tazorac Gel can help wrinkles and dark spots?
Some studies have shown that the active ingredient, tazarotene, can reduce wrinkles and certain dark spots caused by sun damage. Talk with your doctor if you are interested in Tazorac Gel for this use.
How long does Tazorac Gel take to work?
You may notice slight improvements after 1 to 2 weeks of using Tazorac Gel. But it typically takes longer, up to 12 weeks of treatment, to see the full benefits.