Adapalene, is a  retinoid like topical prescription medicine used for the treatment of mild and moderate acne.  Most often it is also known by the brand name Differin. You can get this gel in the market in the forms of gel or cream.

  • Since acne is formed as results of the build up of excess oil and dirt in skin pores, differin keeps the skin pores from blockages and also prevents the comedones from forming.  
  • It also lessen the hyperpigmentation effects of the skin. It is the best solution for those with darker skins since it reduces the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • It can also reduces the formation of oil in the skin and can be a better solution for those with the problem of oily skins.

How to apply Adapalene

  • Usually it is applied once per day before bed.
  • First the face has to be cleanse and dry carefully.
  • Then, apply a pea sized amount on the skin.

It might take weeks and months to see a change so do not give up and quit your treatments.  Use it at least for 3 months before you decide to stop. If you cannot see a change within this time interval or any side effects contact your dermatologist.

While you are using this treatment option, you probably experience burning effect on your skin. You do not have to be panic as the burning effects will disappear after a couple of minutes. 

Side effects

  • Photosensitivity
  • Mild to moderate  skin flaking, peeling and dryness of the skin
  • Irritation and redness
  • Itching, stinging or burning
  • Although it is a rare conditions, differin can cause a serious allergic reaction. Without a medical attention the reaction can be dangerous and lead to difficulty in breathing.

Most of those side effects subside after a month of applying this medicine.

When you start applying Differin, try to avoid the use of other astringent and abrasive skin care products. Those skin care products when used in conjunction with differin it causes severe side effects.  Some of the ingredients to be careful while using adapalene is resorcinol, salicylic acid and sulfur.


  • The entire acne affected areas should be covered with this treatment.
  • Use sunscreen while using this medicine since it makes your skin susceptible to sun burn.
  • Do not apply differin on or near the broken skin.
  • Avoid using it near your lips and eyes.
  • In order to minimise the side effects, use a mild moisturising lotion.
  • Stay away from drying skin care products as it increases skin irritation
  • Unless your doctor recommends never use other acne medicine such as drugs containing benzoyl peroxide.
› Adapalene


Retinoid, mild acne, moderate acne, comedones, salicylic acid, Sulfur  

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