On this page

Adapalene gel for acne

Box of Adapalene gel for acne
On this page

Adapalene (generic Differin) works to break down blocked pores and reduce some inflammation caused by spots. It’s a treatment that is often used for early stages of acne, or for those who experience mild-moderate acne.

Visit Online Doctor

Acne information

Acne affects 95% of those aged 11-30 at some point during these years and can continue into adult life. One of the major causes of acne is the buildup of excess oil (sebum) in the hair follicles. Sebum is produced by the hair follicles (pores) to keep the hair and skin hydrated. However, sebum can start to build up and block pores when the body begins to produce too much. This can be due to changing hormone levels, for example during puberty or the menstrual cycle, contact between the skin and greasy/oily substances or certain cosmetic products.

While most of us are likely to experience acne during our teenage and young adult years, it can be painful, uncomfortable and in some cases continue into later life. Having said this, acne can be treated from a variety of different angles and if it’s affecting you, you should seek the support, guidance and treatment you need.

Information about Adapalene gel

Adapalene works in 2 ways to tackle acne - unblocking pores and reducing inflammation. Unblocking pores treats the cause of the problem, while reducing inflammation helps treat any redness, blackheads, whiteheads or mildly inflamed spots.

Adapalene gel should be applied in a thin layer to freshly washed, dry skin, ideally before going to bed each night. It can take up to 4 weeks before you start to see the results on your acne. Once the gel has cleared up any acne present you may be asked to continue using it to keep on top of any further flare-ups.

Adapalene side effects

Like with lots of medications, some people may experience side effects when using Adapalene gel for their acne. Common side effects include a skin burning sensation or dry, irritated or red skin. Rare side effects include skin which becomes itchy, peeling or sensitive to sunlight.

Do I need a prescription for Adapalene gel?

To obtain Adapalene gel you will need a prescription as it is a prescription-only medication.

Our LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor clinicians can prescribe you Adapalene, if suitable from our acne clinic. You can then have this prescription delivered to your door or collect it in one of our pharmacies.

Request Adapalene gel

Adapalene gel frequently asked questions

  • Are Differin and Adapalene the same thing?

    Adapalene gel is the generic version of the treatment Differin, and it is usually prescribed under the brand name Differin. Adapalene is the active ingredient in the gel, therefore Adapalene and Differin work in the same way to treat acne.

  • Does Differin gel expire?

    Like all medications Adapalene gel will have an expiry date. We do not advise using medication once it’s passed its expiry date.

  • Can I use other acne medications at the same time as Adapalene?

    Some topical acne treatments are fine to use at the same time as Adapalene. It’s advised you use these treatments in the morning and Adapalene gel at night. You should avoid any acne treatments that contain tretinoin, isotretinoin or tazarotene. It’s also advised to not use any cosmetics that have been known to give you blackheads or dry out your skin.

  • What other acne treatments are there?

    There are lots of options available for treating acne, and what works for you might depend on the severity of your acne, the cause of your acne and your gender. You can buy face washes, creams and gels for acne from most pharmacies, particularly if your condition is mild. If you have mild-moderate or moderate-severe acne other prescription strength gels and creams could be prescribed, as well as oral antibiotics. Women experiencing acne may be prescribed the combined contraceptive pill to help deal with the hormonal changes that can cause acne to flare up.

References

patient.info/medicine/adapalene-for-acne-differin
www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.921.pdf
www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/