Differin (Adapelene)

What is Differin?

Differin, or Adapelene, is a popular gel often used by patients to treat pimples or acne. When it comes to its mechanism of action, it’s still unknown, but there are certain suggestions that this medication affects the growth of people’s skin cells, thus, reducing unwanted pimples. It’s a topical treatment that can help you decrease the severity of acne and promote its fast healing. This gel belongs to a group of meds called retinoids and works by reducing inflammation and swelling.

It’s necessary to apply Differin in thin layers to affected areas once a day, and this treatment may last up to twelve weeks.


Precautions and Contraindications

Before you start using Differin, you need to inform your doctor about any possible allergic reactions because it may contain certain components that result in unwanted allergies. Besides, your doctor needs to know everything about your medical history and overall health, especially if you have eczema. Take into account that this medicine can increase your sun sensitivity, and that’s why you need to avoid any prolonged sun exposure, including sunlamps and tanning booths. Such weather extremes as cold and wind may irritate your skin during this kind of treatment. It’s advisable to use effective sunscreen and wear protective clothes outdoors. You should wait for full skin recovery before you start applying Differin. You also need to avoid waxing, electrolysis and chemical depilatories when removing hair on the areas that you treat. If you’ve just used the products that contain salicylic acid, sulfur, or resorcinol, you should be careful when using this gel. For nursing and pregnant women, this medicine can be used only when it’s clearly needed. Discuss possible risks and benefits with your physician to be on a safe side.

Drug Interactions

You should get a better idea of them because they may change the functioning of Differin and boost your risk of developing serious adverse effects. That’s why you need to make a list of all those pills, supplements and vitamins that you’re taking and bring it to your doctor. You’re not allowed to adjust your dose or the whole treatment without discussing it with physicians.

Some of the most widespread medical products that interact with Differin include meds that contain glycolic acid, alpha hydroxyl acids, abrasive soaps, cleansers, hair perming solutions, sulfur, menthol, alcohol, salicylic acid, resorcinol, cosmetics with quite a strong drying effect, and others that tend to increase sun sensitivity.

Side Effects

First, you may feel a short sensation of stinging or warmth right after applying this medicine. There are other side effects that can be expected, including scaling, dryness, itching, skin redness, burning and even worsening of your acne during the first few weeks of its use. The good news is that they will reduce with regular use, but if they worsen or persist, it’s necessary to inform your doctor at once. Sometimes, the dose of Differin can be reduced or altered to avoid these side effects. Keep in mind that most of those patients who take it have no serious adverse effects at all. If you experience such unwanted symptoms as irritated or very red skin, eye redness, swelling, intense burning, eye watering, skin discoloration and others, you need to go to the hospital immediately. Don’t forget about serious allergic reactions that may occur, but they are very rare, and their common symptoms include swelling, itching, rash, severe dizziness, breathing difficulty and so on.