Jan 4, 2013

    Tazorac vs Retin A 
I have had quite a few questions in regards to whether Retin A works better than Tazorac so I thought I would give my personal opinion (as I use both) along with the opinions of professional medical teams.  
Tazorac and Retin-A are both vitamin A-based drugs called retinoids. Retin-A is the name brand of a drug called tretinoin. Tazorac is the name brand for a drug called tazarotene. Retinoids speed skin-cell turnover and boost collagen production.
Tazorac comes in a gel or a cream. Retin-A comes in cream, gel, liquid and 'Micro' which is time released. Adapalene (Differin) is a retinoid which is an alternative to tretinoin and used mainly for acne treatment mainly due to it being less irritating. While Adapalene clearly has some anti-wrinkle properties, it remains to be determined whether it is as good a wrinkle-fighter as tretinoin or tazarotene.
Treatment of:
Both Retin-A and Tazorac can be used to treat acne. They both work by keeping pores clear and many people who use Retin-A see an improvement in their acne in four to six weeks. Optimal benefits are usually seen after three months.
People using Tazorac will see improvement in six to eight weeks.

Photodamage                                                          Both of these retinoids are used to treat photo-damage including brown spots, fine wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, pore size and poor skin elasticity. Personally I find that Tazorac works much better and faster than Retin A in regards to treating pore size and I choose to use this on my nose and use Retin A on the rest of my face, neck and decolletage.

When using Retin-A, expect improvement after three to six months of regular use, and best results between six and 12 months.
With Tazorac the results are faster and you will see improvement in six to eight weeks of regular use and continued use after this point will lead to more improvement.
Stretch Marks
Whilst doing some research about Tazorac I found that some people were using it successfully to reduce stretch marks and therefore thought I would test this out for myself. I involved a friend of mine who had some stretch marks that bothered her and asked her if she would give Tazorac a try whilst I monitored the results. She eagerly agreed in the hope that it would be the one thing she had not tried that would possibly work. So as to be fair, we decided to apply Tazorac to one side of her stomach whilst leaving the other side untouched enabling us to be able to see if the experiment would work. The first two weeks there was no visible improvement in regards to the depth or color of the stretch marks in fact they appeared to become a little irritated. But by week four the stretch marks on the treated side had definite visible improvement, they became narrower and less deep which is amazing and this is something I would personally recommend trying if all else has failed.
Other Conditions
Tazorac can also be used to treat psoriasis and I have found this to be the only treatment that has work for one small patch of psoriasis I have on the inside corner of my eyelid. However, I have noticed that should I forget to apply this to the area the psoriasis returns within days.
Retin-A can also be used to treat a skin disorder characterized by small, red bumps called keratosis follicularis, as well as flat warts.

Side Effects
Both of the drugs can (will) cause a person's skin to be sensitive to the sun, severe dryness of the skin, redness, peeling skin and skin color changes. Both also can cause an initial acne flare-up that usually dissipates with further use.
Neither Tazorac nor Retin-A should be used by pregnant women.
A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded that applying Tazorac once a day is more effective than a daily application of Retin-A in reducing papules and open acne skin bumps. The drugs appeared equally effective against closed acne skin bumps, according to the study. The study also concluded that the drugs are tolerated equally well by people.
Tretinoin a.k.a. trans-retinoic acid (the active ingredient in such popular products as Retin A and Renova) is one of the very few agents whose skin rejuvenation effects have been documented in many well-designed studies. Tretinoin works by triggering molecular switches in skin cells called retinoid receptors. These switches affect many intracellular processes including cell growth and differentiation, synthesis and breakdown of proteins (including collagen and elastin), sebum production, and possibly even the cell's lifespan clock (telomeres).
Based on several studies, tazarotene appears to be as effective as tretinoin against wrinkles. Furthermore, in one study 0.1% tazarotene reduced wrinkles faster and more significantly then 0.05% tretinoin over a 24-week period. Side-effect were similar for both agents, except tazarotene was more likely to cause a burning sensation during the first week (but not thereafter).
Most importantly, we must remember that whilst using any form of retinoid it is imperative to use a full spectrum sunscreen as 'all' retinoids will make the skin extremely sensitive to the sun's rays. Without the use of a good sunscreen the use of retinoids will, in my opinion, do more harm than good. 


  1. Just be careful to choose the right product for your skin.. thanks for the author who write this helpful article.obagi nu derm starter kit

  2. What's the stength of the Tazorac, 0.05% or 0.1%?