Researchers observe that a new topical medication can effectively treat signs of aging due to repeated exposure to the sun. They found that in a long-term study of tazarotene cream, has successfully reduced fine wrinkling and mottled skin in more than 55 percent of those tested, and it continued to show additional benefit as the length of use increased.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is known to have numerous ill effects on the skin, leading not only to the typical signs of aging, but also to skin cancer. Tazarotene has been shown in several studies to reduce these effects, but none have tested the treatment for longer than six months. These researchers measured the safety and effectiveness of the cream in a 25-week study, which was followed by an additional 26-week period in which participants were allowed to continue using the cream while being followed by the researchers.
In the first study period, about 573 subjects were assigned to receive either 0.15 percent tazarotene cream or treatment with a placebo cream for comparison purposes. All applied the creams on their faces once a day. Researchers then assessed each for various measures related to skin health. About 25 subjects in the tazarotene group dropped out due to skin irritation, compared to one in the placebo group. Blood levels of the medication, however, remained in the acceptable range.
After the initial 25-week period, all participants were offered the active treatment, and as of the one-year follow-up, the beneficial effects of the cream had yet to level off in the subjects. The authors write, "Efficacy was further improved with continued treatment and had not plateaued after 14 months, suggesting that additional efficacy may be achievable with longer-term treatment."