What Is It?
Tazarotene is a vitamin A derivative called a topical retinoid. It helps clear acne by promoting skin cell turnover and reducing inflammation in the skin.
Strength of Evidence
Average 50% reduction in acne after 8 weeks
- Tanghetti, E. A. et al. Tazarotene 0.045% lotion for once-daily treatment of moderate-to-severe acne vulgaris: results from two phase 3 trials. J Drugs Dermatol 19, 70–77 (2020).
- Tanghetti, E. A. et al. A phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled clinical study to compare the safety and efficacy of a novel tazarotene 0.045% lotion and tazarotene 0.1% cream in the treatment of moderate-to-severe acne vulgaris. J Drugs Dermatol 18, 542 (2019).
- NCT00713609. Safety and efficacy study of clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide/tazarotene cream in subjects with acne. (2017).
- Feldman, S. R., Werner, C. P. & Alió Saenz, A. B. The efficacy and tolerability of tazarotene foam, 0.1%, in the treatment of acne vulgaris in 2 multicenter, randomized, vehicle-controlled, double-blind studies. J Drugs Dermatol 12, 438–446 (2013).
- Tanghetti, E. et al. Randomized comparison of the safety and efficacy of tazarotene 0.1% cream and adapalene 0.3% gel in the treatment of patients with at least moderate facial acne vulgaris. J Drugs Dermatol 9, 549–558 (2010).
- Thiboutot, D., Arsonnaud, S. & Soto, P. Efficacy and tolerability of adapalene 0.3% gel compared to tazarotene 0.1% gel in the treatment of acne vulgaris. J Drugs Dermatol 7, s3-10 (2008).
- Tanghetti, E., Abramovits, W., Solomon, B., Loven, K. & Shalita, A. Tazarotene versus tazarotene plus clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne vulgaris: a multicenter, double-blind, randomized parallel-group trial. J Drugs Dermatol 5, 256–261 (2006).
- Shalita, A. R. et al. Effects of tazarotene 0.1 % cream in the treatment of facial acne vulgaris: pooled results from two multicenter, double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled, parallel-group trials. Clin Ther 26, 1865–1873 (2004).
- Saple, D. G. et al. An open study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of tazarotene gel (0.1%) in acne vulgaris. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 70, 92–95 (2004).
- Bershad, S. et al. Successful treatment of acne vulgaris using a new method: results of a randomized vehicle-controlled trial of short-contact therapy with 0.1% tazarotene gel. Arch Dermatol 138, 481–489 (2002).
- Shalita, A. R. et al. Tazarotene gel is safe and effective in the treatment of acne vulgaris: a multicenter, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study. Cutis 63, 349–354 (1999).
Low-medium side effects and adverse reactions
Acne.org's Real World Take
Produces similar results to the two other topical retinoids, tretinoin and adapalene, which means only partial clearing, and comes with far more sensitivity and side effects when you first start using it. It probably won’t be a total game changer and don’t be surprised if it’s too much for your skin to take.