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Tazorac (tazarotene) Gel 0.05% and 0.1% from Allergan Inc was approved by the FDA in June 1997 for the treatment of stable plaque psoriasis of up to 20 % of body surface area. The 0.1% gel has also been approved for the treatment of mild to moderately severe facial acne vulgaris. Tazorac is a retinoid (vitamin A derivative) which helps to normalise the abnormal epidermal cell differentiation that occurs in psoriasis and acne vulgaris. It is not a steroid so it won't cause thinning of the skin. Tazorac is also marketed under the brandname Zorac.

Metrogel (metronidazole) Gel 0.75% from Galderma Laboratories Inc received FDA approval in November 1998 for the treatment of moderate to severe acne rosacea.

Elidel (pimecrolimus) Cream 1% from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation received FDA approval in December 2001 for the treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in patients aged 2 years or more. It inhibits T-cell activation and prevents the release of inflammatory cytokines (chemicals released by the immune system). Elidel is not a steroid and therefore does not cause thinning of the skin, stretch marks or spider veins.

Botox Cosmetic from Allergan Inc was approved by the FDA in April 2002 for the temporary improvement of moderate to severe glabellar lines (the vertical wrinkles between the eyeborws) in adult men and women, ages 65 and younger. Botox (botulinum toxin) is injected into the affected area to block nerve impulses to the muscles that cause frowning in that area. The effects can be seen after a few days to a week and can last up to 4 months.

Finacea (azelaic acid) Gel 15%, developed by Berlex's Laboratories received FDA approval in December 2002 for the treatment of the imflammatory papules and pustules of mild to moderate acne rosacea. Azelaic acid 20% cream has been used for many years for treating mild to moderate acne.

Protopic (tacrolimus) Ointment from Fujisawa Healthcare, received FDA approval in December 2002 for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in patients aged 2 years. The 0.1% concentration of tacrolimus ointment was approved for the treatment of adults, while the lower 0.03% concentration was approved for the treatment of both children (ages two and above) and adults for short-term and intermittent long-term therapy. Protopic is a topical immunomodulator (TIM) that acts at the site of the immune imbalance to help stop the redness and itching of eczema inflammation. It is not a steroid, so it won't cause thinning of the skin.

Amevive (alefacept) from Biogen Inc became the first biological therapy to be approved by the FDA (in January 2003) for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis - other biological therapies are still being evaluated. It blocks the action of T-cells so they cannot release cytokines (chemicals released by the immune system) that causes the manifestations of psoriasis. Amevive has to be given by injection.