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Tazorac Cream vs Gel: What's the difference?

Is Tazorac Cream better than Tazorac Gel?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Nov 29, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Tazorac Cream vs Gel: What's the difference?

The most obvious difference between Tazorac cream and Tazorac gel is how the formulation looks and how it feels on the skin. Tazorac cream contains oil so it can be more soothing on the skin if the skin is dry, but Tazorac gel may be preferable if your skin is oily.

Side effects Tazorac cream vs Tazorac gel

Tazorac gel has more of the most common side effects when compared to Tazorac cream.

For psoriasis the most common side effects are:

  • Tazorac cream = itching, redness and burning.
  • Tazorac gel = itching, redness, burning, worsening of psoriasis, irritation and skin pain.

For acne the most common side effects are:

  • Tazorac Cream = peeling, dry skin, redness and burning
  • Tazorac gel = peeling, dry skin, redness, burning and itchy skin.


Uses of Tazorac cream vs Tazorac gel

For plaque psoriasis the Tazorac FDA indications are:

  • Tazorac cream 0.05% and 0.1% are indicated for plaque psoriasis in patients over 18 years old
  • Tazorac gel 0.05% and 0.1% can be used for plaque psoriasis in patients over 12 years old.

For acne the Tazorac FDA indications are:

  • Tazorac cream 0.1% is indicated for acne vulgaris in patients over 12 years old.
  • Tazorac gel 0.1% is indicated for facial acne vulgaris in patients over 12 years old.

Limit of Application area for Tazorac gel vs Tazorac cream

Tazorac gel application is limited to no more than 20% of the body area compared to Tazorac cream which has no limits of area of application.

Bottom line:

  • Tazorac gel has more most common side effects compared to Tazorac cream
  • Tazorac gel and cream have different age limits depending on which condition you are treating and which Tazorac formulation you are using.
  • Tazorac gel can only be applied to 20% or less of the body whereas Tazorac cream has no area of application limits.
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