Epiduo Gel and Epiduo Forte Gel are topical acne treatments used to treat mild to moderate acne. Each formula is actually a combination of two different acne medications: Differin (adapalene) and benzoyl peroxide .
These two formulations contain the same active ingredients in different concentrations. The original Epiduo Gel contains 0.1% adapalene, while Epiduo Forte contains a higher adapalene concentration of 0.3%. Both gels contain the same percentage of benzoyl peroxide: 2.5%.
You can only get Epiduo with a prescription. In August 2017, the first generic product, Epiduo, was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How Epiduo works
Epiduo treats acne in multiple ways thanks to two acne-fighting ingredients.
Adapalene is a retinoid drug that acts as a comedolytic , that is, it inhibits the formation of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). By exfoliating dead skin cells, Adapalene helps clear clogged pores and prevent future breakouts.
Benzoyl peroxide acts as an antimicrobial agent, neutralizing the bacteria that cause acne breakouts. A 2015 review of studies in the Archives of Dermatological Research found that benzoyl peroxide reduced acne breakouts by an average of 44.3%, while a complete disappearance was seen in 15.2% – 28.6% of the users.
Because Epiduo works on many of the factors that cause acne, it is an effective treatment for whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed pimples that are not inflamed. Also, it has been shown to reduce acne scars.
Epiduo is not the only drug that contains adapalene or benzoyl peroxide. In fact, you can take each of these medications separately. The advantage of using a combination of acne medications like Epiduo is that it simplifies the acne treatment procedure, one application, and you're done.
With Epiduo, apply a pea-sized amount of gel (about a pump from a bottle) to clean, dry skin once a day. You will need to apply it to all areas where acne is a problem, not just individual pimples. By doing this, you can stop breakouts before they occur.
Epiduo works on the face, but can also be used to treat rashes on the back, neck, or other parts of the body.
Side Effects and Warnings
Epiduo Gel may cause some side effects. Your dermatologist will briefly tell you what to look for, but these are the most common:
- Burning or burning sensation
Side effects are usually more serious during the first weeks of treatment. Once your skin adjusts to the medication, the side effects generally decrease. Of course, tell your healthcare provider if the side effects are persistent, bothersome, or serious.
Apart from these side effects, Epiduo can cause breakouts during the first few weeks of treatment. This is known as "skin cleansing" and is caused by pimples that form under the skin before treatment and come to the surface. If you continue to use it, your acne will start to improve.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It is not clear if it is safe to take Epiduo during pregnancy, as there have not been well-controlled studies of Epiduo in pregnant women. It is also unknown whether Epiduo is passed from mother to child during breastfeeding. The potential benefits may outweigh the risks, but talk to your doctor to determine if Epiduo is the right choice for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you have been prescribed this medication for acne, there are several steps you can take to get the best results from your medication:
- The ingredients in Epiduo can cause photosensitivity , so the use of sunscreen is key. Also, stay away from tanning salons and booths (which is good practice for everyone).
- Do not wax the areas where you are using Epiduo or any other topical retinoid. This can cause severe skin irritation.
- Avoid harsh or dry skin care products. This can include scrubs , alcohol-based toners, and other over-the-counter acne treatments if your doctor doesn't give you permission. Using too many acne treatments at once can dry out and irritate the skin and won't clear acne any faster.
- Take your medicine consistently and exactly as recommended. Consistency is key in treating acne. Try not to skip days.
- If your skin is uncomfortably dry, use an oil-free, fragrance-free moisturizer every day. Apply Epiduo first, let it soak in for about 20 minutes and then apply the moisturizer on top. (You can also ask your dermatologist how to incorporate moisturizer into your treatment regimen.)
- Benzoyl peroxide can bleach clothes and towels, but it doesn't bleach your skin, so be careful not to stain yourself with fabrics that you don't want to bleach.
If you have any questions about acne treatments, don't hesitate. Ask your dermatologist.
Frequently asked questions
How long does Epiduo last?
Using Epiduo may take eight to 12 weeks or more before you notice an improvement in your acne.
How much does Epiduo cost?
The average cost for a 45 gram bottle of Epiduo is about $ 440. If Epiduo and Epiduo Forte are not covered, many online pharmacies and prescription services offer discount cards that you can use to reduce the high cost.
Will my acne get worse with Epiduo?
Possibly, but only for the first few weeks of treatment. Pimples that formed under the skin before treatment can surface as soon as you start using Epiduo. This is known as cleansing the skin. As you continue to use it, you will begin to notice an improvement in your acne condition.
Get the word of drug information
Your dermatologist can tell you if Epiduo or Epiduo Forte is suitable for treating your acne. If not, don't worry. There are so many acne treatment options available that there is one that is perfect for you. The most important thing is to call your dermatologist and schedule your first appointment with your dermatologist.