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Tazarotene Topical



Tazarotene topical is used for the treatment of mild to moderate plaque psoriasis (common form of skin disease that appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white build-up of dead skin cells).

How it works

Tazarotene is a topical antipsoriatic that belongs to a group of medications called as retinoids. It works by decreasing skin inflammation, excessive skin proliferation and certain skin changes associated with psoriasis.

Common side effects

Pain, Swelling, Acne-like rash, Burning sensation, Itching, Tingling sensation, Changes in skin color, Deep grooves in skin, Skin rash, Skin redness


Expert advice

  • Take precautions to ensure that tazarotene topical is applied only to areas of affected skin (psoriatic lesions), avoiding application to healthy skin or in skin folds.
  • You can apply an effective greasy non-medicated cream to the treated areas of the skin in case you experience dryness or irritation. 
  • Cover the healthy skin around the treated areas with zinc paste to prevent irritation.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to UV light (including sunlight, use of a solarium, PUVA or UVB therapy) during tazarotene therapy.
  • Do not apply tazarotene gel in moist, hair-covered areas such as armpits, groin and do not cover areas to be treated with dressings or bandages.
  • Do not apply tazarotene gel on more than 10% of the total surface of the body (approximately equivalent to the total skin area of one arm).
  • Take precautions to not use any creams or cosmetics within 1 hour of applying tazarotene.
  • In cases of very dry skin or skin irritations, apply an inert fatty ointment base to the affected skin areas at least one hour before using tazarotene gel.
  • It should not take if patient is allergic to tazarotene or any of its ingredients.
  • It should not given to pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • It should not given to children < 18 years of age.
  • Patients having psoriasis with pus discharge (psoriasis pustulosa) or psoriasis with increased scale formation (exfoliative psoriasis) on the face.

Frequently asked questions

Tazarotene Topical

Q. Is tazarotene a retinoid?
Tazarotene is a retinoid.
Q. Is tazarotene a steroid? 
Tazarotene is not a steroid. 
Q. Does tazarotene work for wrinkles?
Tazarotene does not work for wrinkles. 

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)