Differin acne treatment (adapalene)

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You probably know adapalene by the more common trade name Differin. It is also found in the Epiduo drug. Whatever name you call it, adapalene is a retinoid-like compound used to treat mild to moderate acne . It can be used by both adolescents and adults.

Adapalene is available by prescription only and is available in a variety of topical formulations including lotions, creams, and gels.

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How Adapale works

Adapalen works by increasing the rate of cell renewal. It is classified as keratolytic or , more simply, super exfoliating. It prevents dead skin cells and oil from clogging pores and helps prevent comedones . Adapalene helps remove bumps and acne. It also helps reduce inflammation .

Depending on the judgment of the dermatologist, you will use adapalene once or twice a day. All you need is a small amount all over your face. After application, you may notice a slight tingling or burning sensation. Do not worry; this feeling is normal and will go away after a few minutes.

Do not just apply this medicine to acne alone. Since adapalene prevents the formation of pimples below the skin's surface, spot treatments for existing pimples will not be effective. You must apply it all over your face as a moisturizer for it to work properly.

When you first start treatment, don't be surprised if your relapse continues. Try not to get angry; this is completely normal.

It may take several weeks before you start to notice changes in your skin. Until then, continue to use Adapalene daily for at least 12 weeks before evaluating its effectiveness.

Possible side effects.

Adapalene is generally less irritating than other topical retinoids , but it can still cause side effects. Some of the most common are:

  • Dryness, peeling, or flaking
  • Redness and irritation.
  • Mild burning, tingling, or itching

These side effects are usually more pronounced during the first few weeks of treatment and decrease somewhat over time. If adapalene causes more than mild irritation, report it to your dermatologist.

In rare cases, adapalene can cause an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis. It is often mild and transient, and goes away on its own without treatment. In other cases, it can cause a serious reaction throughout the body known as anaphylaxis , which is a medical emergency.

When to call a doctor

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience a severe rash, hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, fast or irregular heartbeat, confusion, dizziness, or swelling of the face, tongue, or throat after using Adapalene .

If left untreated, anaphylaxis can lead to shock, coma, heart or respiratory failure, suffocation, and death .

Practical advice

For best results, you should (and should not) do the following when using Adapalene:

  • Use a moisturizer. Adapalene will probably dry you out. Apply oil-free moisturizer as needed to prevent breakouts.
  • Apply sunscreen. Adapalene can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so you don't have to lie on the ground or sunbathe. If you're not already using sunscreen , why not start now? This will protect your skin from sun damage and aging.
  • Avoid waxing. Do you pluck your eyebrows or lips? You'll want to stop these cosmetic procedures while using adapalene, otherwise you risk serious irritation and possible skin damage. Plucking is normal.

Finally, if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to call the dermatologist's office. In some cases, your doctor may suggest alternatives that are more appropriate for your skin type.

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