How Do You Properly Use Tazorac Cream?

Hello, What is the best way to use Tazorac cream (0.05%) to take full advantage of all the skin benefits? How often? How much? Before/After moisturizer? etc... what about the 'short contact' method? Thanks so much!

Doctor Answers 6

Proper use of Tazorac for acne

Tazorac is an excellent topical retionid for any (and anti-wrinkle side effects) but it, like other retinoids, can be drying. To get best results use just a green pea-sized amount on the whole face at bedtime only. Moisturize twice daily. It does not matter if you put the moisturizer on over or under the Tazorac. Use a gentle, moisturizing cleanser and avoid scrubs. Don't forget to use sunscreen in your morning moisturizer.


New York Dermatologist
3.3 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Tazorac for acne

Tazorac is a topical retinoid and a nice treatment option for acne. Because it is very strong, I suggest using it as short contact therapy starting at 3 minutes each night for 1 month, then 10minutes for 1 month, then 1 hour for 1 month, then trying it on overnight. If your skin gets too dry or irritated, you can apply a moisturizer 10minutes after applying the tazorac, or take breaks from the tazorac.

Benjamin Barankin, MD
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Use Tazorac cream or other vitamin A creams nightly for best results

We start patients out every other night for the first two weeks, and if they are having dryness or irritation, they can add a moisturizer on top of it.  The short contact method was previously done with Tazorac Gel, which can be more irritating, and is likely not necessary when you are using the cream.  Most results take about 4-5 months to get clearance of acne and improvement of sun damage.  Best to you.

Carolyn Jacob, MD
Chicago Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Using Topical Retinoids (Retin A)

Tazorac cream is one of the topical retinoids (most people know Retin A) that has great benefits for not only treating the whiteheads and blackheads of acne, but it also has been shown in clinical trials to be a very effective product to use, like Retin A, forlong-term skin health and rejuvenation of the skin.

Like all retinoids, Tazorac can be somewhat irritating, and in clinical work the gel was found to be prettyirritating to some. The cream formulation is definitely less irritating. Your board-certified dermatologist will best be able to review with you the proper way to use your medication, and it should be standard procedure in today’s world for the prescriber to go over the best way to use the medicine. For Tazorac, you can wash your face before bed, pat it dry but not totally dry, and apply a pea size amount which can cover the entire face. A moisturizer can be applied directly after the medicine, and this will, in my opinion, keep theirritation potential to a minimum. If irritation occurs, ask your doctor.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tazorac and Elevase creams

Tazorac is a topical form of retinoid cream that is useful for acne. In our office, we often advise patients to use Tazorac in combination with a ceramide cream such as Elevase cream to help reduce dryness of the skin with use. 

Best, 
Dr. Karamanoukian 
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Tazorac Treatment Protocol

Tazorac is a topical retinoid that is incorporated into some acne regimens.  Many patients are not able to tolerate Tazorac as it is considered to be the most irritating of the topical retinoids, however it can be very efficacious for some patients.  Additionally, it is pregnancy category X so should never be used during pregnancy or when attempting to conceive.  In the patients I prescribe Tazorac, I have them apply a small amount to their entire face prior to bed time after washing their face with a gentle face wash.  As always, I recommend being evaluated by a board certified dermatologist so the appropriate regimen can be prescribed for you.

Anthony Perri, MD
Houston Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.