Tazarotene for acne scars

Sep.20, 2018

Actuality of problem and Description of problem

Acne occurs because of the blockage of the proper draining  of the seborrheic glands(seborrheic glands are microscopic glands, which are present in the skin and whose main function is to lubricate the skin by means of secreting sebum).When the block occurs, Because of the accumulation of a waxy material (sebum) there occur increased risk for getting infected with bacteria and getting swollen. Inflammation is the normal response mechanism of the body to anything which is foreign to the  body. As a result of inflammation, the redness and  possibilities of breakage of acne scars occur. At the end of the inflammation, the healing process begins to take place. The natural process of healing tries to completely regenerate and replenishable the cell but practically it is not possible. Therefore a  particular area will be covered with scars. Acne scars decrease the confidence of a person, when they go outside. Acne is the problem which is common among the younger age group and it occurs in spite of taking all preventive measures.

There are many types of acne but microdome (which is the formation of small hill like cluster of cells) and the resultant scar formation is a part which is common to many types of acne. Among the types of scar, the differences mainly consists of two types namely boxcar and Icepick. In Addition to this, because of excessive collagen, which is the building material of scar, keloid scar occurs. Boxcar type of scar typically consists of the box kind of lesion which are oval along with sharp edges. Icepick type of scar is small but visible scar.

Why Tazarotene is good for that problem?

Tazarotene is manufactured by Allergan in the name of Tazorac (0.1%). There are also many generic forms manufactured by various companies available. Tazarotene is related to retinoic acid, which in turn is nothing but a form of vitamin A. We all know that Vitamin A is required for the proliferation and regeneration of the cell and acts at the level of the nucleus. The drug causes decrease in the micro dome formation by means of decreasing the congestion and adhesion between the Keratin layer cells. (Outermost layer which is responsible for roughness and imparting color to the skin is the keratin layer) This is achieved by regulating the transcription of the targeted gene. When compared to all free available formulations of retinoic acid, namely tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene, tazarotene has the maximum effect. The drug is available in gel, cream and foam format.

What is Tazarotene and how it resolves the problem?

Tazarotene action is related to genetic  alteration by means of acting at the level of retinoic acid receptor and retinoid X receptor which are present in the nucleus of the keratinocytes (receptors are biomolecules where the drug gets  attached, thereby causing its effect, the nucleus is the part of the cell where the genetic material of the cell is present and  Keratinocyte is the layer which covers the outermost epithelial layer). Among the retinoic acid receptors, the drugs have selective binding to the beta and gamma subtype (There are totally 3 subtypes of retinoic acid receptors namely alpha beta and gamma).


Tazarotene is typically recommended to be applied once a day at night because of the liability of causing some side effect in the presence of Sunlight. It is suggested  to first wash the face and cleanse it properly followed by application of moisturizer. This is to be followed by application of the drug by taking only pea sized drop in your finger. A pregnancy test need to be done before a woman in the reproductive age starts applying the drug, this is because retinoic acid is completely contraindicated in pregnancy. Also, SPF 15 and higher sunscreen need to be applied in the following morning, while being in therapy with tazarotene to prevent the sun related rashes and side effect.

Conclusion (Treatment results)

Tazarotene containing retinoic acid is one of the proven treatment which has been certified both with experience and scientifically for the acne and the associated scar formation. It needs to be applied  for at least 12 weeks and there may not be any improvement for the initial 4 weeks. The resolution of acne scar will help in increasing the beauty of the skin.

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