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If you have fine facial wrinkles, flat patches of skin discoloration, or other signs of excess sun exposure, your healthcare provider may recommend Avage, a prescription skin cream. This product is chemically related to vitamin A and is thought to work below the skin's surface to treat signs of sun damage. Common side effects include peeling, redness, and dry skin.

What Is Avage?

Avage® (tazarotene) is a prescription skin cream approved to treat a few specific signs of overexposure to the sun, including fine facial wrinkling, blotchy skin discoloration, and flat patches of skin discoloration.
(Click Avage Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Avage is made by Allergan, Inc.

How Does Avage Work?

Avage is a "prodrug," a medication that is chemically inactive until it is changed by the body into the active form. The active form of Avage is a retinoid, which is chemically related to vitamin A. Other well-known retinoids include Retin-A® and Accutane®.
Although it is unknown exactly how this product works to treat some of the signs of sun damage, it is thought to work below the surface of the skin.

When and How to Use Avage

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Avage include the following:
  • Avage is usually applied once daily to the entire face in the evening (including the eyelids, if desired). Use a pea-sized amount.
  • Remove any cosmetics before applying the medication. If you wash your face, be sure the skin is completely dry before using this product.
  • You may use moisturizers before or after applying Avage. Make sure the first product applied (either Avage or a moisturizer) has absorbed into the skin and is dry before applying the second product.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure, since you will burn more easily. A facial sunscreen or moisturizer of at least SPF 15 should be used every day.
  • For Avage to work properly, it must be used as directed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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