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Avage® is a brand name for a skin cream used to soften and reduce the adverse effects of overexposure to the sun. The specific signs that it treats include wrinkles on the face, aging spots, blotchy skin discoloration and non-cancerous freckles. According to its manufacturer, Allergen, the effects of Avage® can be optimized when used as part of a complete skin care and sunlight avoidance regimen.
Produced as a white cream, Avage® is also referred to as tazarotene, a chemical compound called a retinoid that the cream contains. Retinoids are classified as similar to vitamin A, a derivative of which is often used in skin creams. Scientists believe Avage® works below the skin's surface to produce the intended results.
Patients are advised to apply a pea-sized amount of Avage® to the face — including the eyelids, if desired — once a day. This should be done when going to sleep; and makeup should be completely removed and the skin dry before administering the cream. People who use Avage® as part of a skin treatment program should make sure the cream, regardless of order of use, is completely absorbed into the skin before using another.
The most common side effects of Avage® include burning, redness, peeling, and irritated and itching skin. Users of Avage® also may experience increased skin irritation in strong wind or during cold weather. Women who are pregnant are forbidden from applying the skin cream, as are people who are especially sensitive to sunlight, have a type of skin cancer called lentigo maligna, or have certain skin conditions such as eczema or sunburn. Although Avage® is made to reduce signs of sun overexposure, it is not made to eliminate them entirely.
Avage® should not be confused with Tazorac®, another brand of tazarotene. Tazorac® is used to treat plaque psoriasis, a type of chronic autoimmune disease that leaves red, scaly patches on the skin. It is also used for acne vulgaris, perhaps the most common form of this skin disease and known for its common occurrence in teenagers and young adults.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Avage® in 2000. This was in reaction to clinical studies that demonstrated significant reduction of the specific signs related to skin damage from the sun. The FDA approved the medication as an adjunctive agent, which in medical terms means that it can be taken along with other medications.
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