Tazorac is a highly effective prescription retinoid that works the same way as Vitamin A. The medication helps the skin rebuild its texture and appearance more quickly.

Available in Cream and Gel form, Tazorac is FDA-approved for the treatment of plaque psoriasis and acne. Doctors prescribe this medication to adults and children of 12 years and above.

As a retinoid, Tazorac relies heavily on vitamin A which plays an important role in regulating the growth and production of new cells. This helps the skin to renew fast and heal from acne and skin peeling, commonly referred to as plaque psoriasis.

Tazorac absorbs into the skin and keeps the skin and lining healthy. It slows skin cell proliferation and prevents irritation. Tazorac also thickens the skin’s outer layers to decrease wrinkles and discoloration.

Precautions and Warnings of Tazorac

Besides being an effective retinoid medication, Tazorac has some potential health risks. Some of these may even be severe for some people. If this is an issue for you, you should talk to your doctor for alternatives. Some of the concerns to pay attention to include:


Using Tazorac can make your skin more sensitive to direct sunlight. This may result in unexpected sunburn.  It is recommended that you wear protective clothes while on Tazorac. You can alternatively use sunscreen with an SPFT of 30 and above when going out in sunlight. You should also avoid tanning beds when taking tazarotene.

Skin Irritation

Tazarotene (Tazorac) can cause peeling, dryness, itching, and increased sensitivity to cold and windy weather. Avoid alcohol-containing skincare products, which can worsen these negative effects. If irritation persists, talk to your doctor about changing the dosage or stopping it.

Harm to Pregnancy

Since Tazarotene could harm the fetus, it should not be used during pregnancy. This medicine requires a negative pregnancy test and adequate contraception to avoid conception.

Flammable (Fabior foam only)

Avoid open flames when using Fabior foam, which is combustible. You should also stop smoking during and after pharmaceutical use.

Not For Pediatric Use

Children under 12 should not take Tazorac cream or gel for psoriasis or acne. Also, children under 18 should not use Tazorac cream for psoriasis.

Allergic Reactions

If you’ve had an adverse reaction to Tazorac or its ingredients, your doctor may not prescribe it. Discuss alternate medications with your doctor to discover a better treatment.

Tazorac Side Effects

Like most dermatological treatments, Tazorac has side effects, both mild and severe. You may not have to worry about the mild side effects of Tazorac, but severe effects will require immediate medical intervention.

Common Side Effects

For the most part, common side effects will disappear in a couple of weeks. Consider calling your doctor if they persist or become severe. Common side effects include:

  • Dry skin
  • Burning sensation on the skin
  • Skin that may be flaky or could peel
  • Skin redness or discoloration
  • Itchy, or irritated skin

Severe Side Effects

While not common, severe side effects may occur and will require immediate medical intervention. In dire circumstances, you might have to dial 911 for emergency medical help. Some of the severe side effects you need to be keen on include:

  • Allergies associated with symptoms like trouble breathing, swelling, and serious rashes.
  • Increased sensitivity to the sun, increasing the risk of sunburn.
  • Severe irritation.

Drug Interactions With Tazorac

Tazorac may interact with some other medications and produce adverse effects or alter its efficacy. Some drugs you should avoid while taking Tazorac include:

Type of MedicationMedications (Example)Potential Interaction Effects
Medicines that increase sensitivity to sunlightFluoroquinolone antibiotics (e.g., Ciloxan)Increased risk of sunburn when used with Tazorac
Tetracycline antibiotics (e.g. doxycycline, minocycline)
Thiazide diuretics (e.g. bendroflumethiazide)
Phenothiazines (e.g., Phenergan, prochlorperazine)
Sulfonamide antibiotics (e.g. sulfamethoxazole)
Medications that cause dry skinBenzoyl peroxideIncreased risk of severe skin irritation and drying when used with Tazorac
Salicylic acid
Calcipotriene (e.g. Dovonex, Sorilux)


Tazorac Strengths and Dosages

Given that it’s applied to the skin, Tazorac is available in cream and gel form. You should apply the medication as a thin layer, directly to the affected body surface. Do this once a day, preferably in the evening.


The Tazorac cream comes in two strengths which are the 0.05 % and the stronger version of 0.1%.

05% Tazorac Cream

The 0.05% cream is commonly used to treat plaque psoriasis in adults. There’s not enough research yet to indicate whether the cream is safe for use to treat plaque psoriasis in children under 18 years.

Typically, patients suffering from plaque psoriasis start with 0.05% strength of Tazorac cream, applied directly to the psoriasis plaques. If the symptoms do not improve, doctors may recommend increasing the dosage strength to 0.1%.

1% Tazorac Cream

The 0.1% Tazorac cream is normally used to treat acne in adults and children of 12 years or older.

As mentioned, 0.1% Tazorac cream which is the stronger version, can also be prescribed to treat plaque psoriasis when the 0.05% dose is not effective enough to alleviate symptoms.


Tazorac gel is also available in 0.05% and 0.1% strengths. These strengths are prescribed depending on the illnesses and severity of the symptoms.

05% Tazorac Gel

Used to treat plaque psoriasis in both adults and children above 12 years.

1% Tazorac Gel

The 0.1% Tazorac is prescribed for moderate acne in adults and children above 12 years of age.

Doctors may also recommend the 0.1% gel to treat plaque psoriasis in case the 0.05% dose is ineffective in clearing symptoms.

Cost of Tazorac in America

The price of Tazorac varies significantly, depending on insurance, pharmacy, and location. Discount offers, coupons, and rebate programs will also affect pricing.

However, expect to pay about $515 for a supply of 30 grams of 0.05% Tazorac cream and $546 for a supply of 30 grams of 0.1% Tazorac cream.

The Tazorac gel is slightly cheaper compared to the cream. The 0.05% Tazorac gel costs around $450 for a supply of 30 grams while 30 grams supply of 0.1% Tazorac gel goes for $478.

If these prices are too high for you, Tazorac has a generic version, tazarotene topical available at a lower price.

Tazorac Alternatives

There are several alternatives to tazorac, but some common ones include:

  • Taltz: Administered subcutaneously to reduce inflammation and cure diseases like psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, and more.
  • Clobetasol topical: Available as a topical cream, spray, shampoo, etc., it’s used to treat Psoriasis, anal itching, dermatitis, and Eczema, among others.
  • Fabior: Retinoid that treats acne vulgaris.
  • Atralin: Gel for treating acne and acute promyelocytic leukemia
  • Topical antibiotics, such as dapsone and clindamycin

Questions & Answers of Tazorac

What is the difference between the two forms of Tazorac?

Tazorac cream is a white, oil-based medication mostly used to treat dry skin. On the other hand, Tazorac gel is a clear water-based prescription that is lighter and more easily absorbed into the skin.

Is Tazorac a steroid?

No. Tazorac is not a steroid. It is a topical retinoid used to cure acne and psoriasis.

Is Tazorac used for wrinkles or as an anti-aging treatment?

While not FDA-approved as an anti-aging medication, some doctors prescribe it off-label for the management of wrinkles and aging.

Will my skin purge with Tazorac treatment?

Yes. Retinoids like Tazorac affect the production of new cells, which can cause your skin to purge. However, you’ll notice improvements as you continue using Tazorac.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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