Adapalene is topical retinoid which is in gel form is used for treating acne. This is FDA approved drug and in USA it is sold under the brand name Differin. Excess oil, dead skin cells and dirt combine together to clog pores and cause inflammation on the skin’s surface called acne. Adapalene for acne acts by slowing down accumulation of skin cells, which plug pores inside the follicle. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties too.
How Should Adapalene Be Used?
Adapalene for acne is available as a cream, gel or liquid that has to be applied on the skin. If you purchase the liquid form, it is has an applicator that comes with the glass bottle or individual medicated wipes that can be used once and disposed off. Adapalene is applied once every night. Follow application instructions mentioned on the packaging or consult your pharmacist or dermatologist. Apply excess or less adapalene will not improve your acne but rather cause irritation of the skin.
Wash the affected area with a soap-free cleanser or mild soap, pat dry. Use your fingers and spread the cream or gel in a thin film over acne. If you use the medicated wipes, remove one from its pouch and gently wipe affected areas and dispose off the wipe. Use the applicator when using liquid Adapalene. As you apply the medicine, you will have a mild stinging sensation that will disappear quickly.
Sometimes symptoms of acne may worsen before it becomes better, usually after 8-12 weeks. Pimples could surface on the skin during the initial phase of treatment. Do not despair but continue with adapalene and you can soon see an improvement.
Benefits of Adapalene
Adapalene prevents the formation of whiteheads and blackheads. It is used for moderate or severe acne, which may not react to other types of acne treatments. Adapalene works well to clear pores, to reduce inflammation and minimize the severity and frequency of acne outbreaks. When used in combination with benzoyl peroxide or topical antibiotics, it proves more effective.
Limitations and Possible Side Effects of Adapalene
Adapalene may not be suitable for children under 12. It may not act on some types of acne or acne that is present over wide areas of the body. Some people may develop a resistance to adapalene in which case you must consult your doctor if the acne outbreaks do not begin to clear after a period.
Possible Side Effects
Reactions to adapalene for acne are different for different patients. It is important that you report all symptoms to the doctor at once.
Common side effects of Adapalene:
- Dry skin
- Burning sensation
- Redness of skin
- Skin irritation
Some rare side effects:
- Sensitivity to the sun and sunburn
More serious side effects that are less common but can occur include:
- Eyelid itching, swelling, erythema or irritation
- Skin swelling and pain
Precautions while using Adapalene
Adapalene for acne must not be used on the eyes, nose, lips, sunburned or cut skin. Those who suffer from sun sensitivity, sunburn and eczema or cancer must inform their doctor. When using adapalene, stay away from direct sunlight and harsh lights like tanning booths or sun lamps. If you cannot avoid the sun, use a strong sunscreen (more than SPF15) and wear protective clothing.
There is no specific diet to follow when using adapalene for acne. If you miss a dose, it does not matter; just continue with your regular schedule.
Tests on laboratory animals have found that tumors grow in those that were administered medications similarly to adapalene and then exposed to strong light. This is why people are advised to stay way from the sun and harsh artificial lights. Your medicine must not be used by other people.
Adapalene causes excessive skin irritation if other acne medications are used with it. There are no studies on its effect on pregnant or nursing mothers, although it is best to mention this to your doctor. Do not use adapalene with medicated cosmetics, soaps, cleansers, cover-ups, products that contain alcohol, lime or spice, products that dry the skin or hair removal products like hot wax. Mention all medications, OTC products, vitamins, nutritional supplements or herbal products you maybe using at that time.
Mention all allergies to your doctor for you could be sensitive to some ingredient found in adapalene. Go to the nearest clinic at once if you accidentally ingest adapalene.
Storage of Adapalene
Adapalene must be stored away from direct light and heat and at room temperature. It must not be kept in the freezer. It must be kept away from the reach of children. If you are using adapalene solution, ensure the bottle is upright at all times. Throw away all unused outdated medications.