What Wrinkle Cream Works Better over the Longrun: Tretinoin (Retin-A) or Tazarotene (Tazorac))

I know that many dermatologists recommend Retin-A (tretinoin) as the gold standard for wrinkle treatment and prevention, however other doctors say that Tazorac (tazarotene) is more effective. My skin can tolerate either of the two. So, I would like to know which retinoid most effectively builds and maintains collagen structure, long term; Retin-A or Tazorac? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 5

There is no reliable scientific evidence that tretinoin is less or more effective than tazarotene.

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There is no scientific evidence that tretinoin is less or more effective than tazarotene. Both have been shown to be highly effective treaments for photoaging. I. like many dermatologists, advise my patients to alternate these two creams to obtain the benefits of both.

Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon

Retin A

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Retin A and Tazorac are almost the same, you can use either  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Tretinoin vs tazarotene for anti-aging

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Tretinoin and tazarotene are both retinoids.  Tazarotene is considered the stronger of the two, although both of them come in varying concentrations.

So the anti-aging results are somewhat more significant with tazarotene, however it is also more irritating and more sun sensitizing.  So care must be taken when starting to use any retinoid, particularly tazarotene.

- All retinoids must be used at nighttime.

- Start the applications at twice a week and gradually increase the frequency to every night.

- After you have used the lowest strength nightly for a month or so, you can consider increasing the strength of the retinoid.

- Wash your face with a mild cleanser.  Avoid scrubbing or exfoliating the face.  Let the skin dry for 10-15 minutes, then apply a pea-sized amount of retinoid to your entire face, avoiding the immediate eye area.  The skin in the periorbital area is very sensitive and gets irritated easily.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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Tretinoin vs. tazarotene for longterm effect

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Both tretinoin and tazarotene are vitamin A derivatives and have been tested to the same FDA standards.  They remain the only approved topicals to reverse the effects of aging and sun damage.  Both, if used sparingly, are well tolerated and effective.  There are no studies to date comparing theirlongterm benefits, but both must continue to used or their benefits will cease.   

Stephen Mandy, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon

Tretinoin and tazarotene

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Tretinoin, tazarotene and adapalene which all belong to the class of molecules called retinoids have very similar effects.  Tazarotene is generally regarded as the stronger topical retinoid.  Either can be used for their anti-aging effects.  Even if your skin can tolerate tazarotene at this time, you may be better off using a more mild retinoid for the long-term.  Even retinol which is milder than tretinoin is usually adequate for the purpose of anti-aging.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego 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.