How effective is Differin in treating acne?

Acne can be treated with this medicine. It might lessen acne breakouts overall, lessen their intensity, and hasten the healing of any breakouts that do occur. Adapalene is a member of the retinoids drug class. It functions by influencing cell development and reducing edema and inflammation.

Applying Differin Gel

Read and abide by all instructions on the product package before using the over-the-counter remedy if you choose to self-treat. Ask your pharmacist any queries you may have. Use this medication as instructed if your doctor has prescribed it.

Use this drug just once daily at bedtime, or as prescribed by your doctor or the product package. Use a gentle or soapless cleanser to gently clean the afflicted skin before applying. Pat dry.

Wash your hands both before and after using the gel, cream, or lotion if you’re taking this medication. Apply a tiny amount of medicine in a thin coating using your fingertips. Unwrap the medicated swab before using it to administer a little coating to the affected area (s).

Only apply this medication to the skin. Keep this medication away from your mouth and eyes. Applying inside of the mouth or nose is not advised. Use copious amounts of water to rinse your eyes if this drug gets in them. If eye irritation occurs, contact your doctor right away. Avoid applying to skin that is sunburned, scraped, cut, or eczematous (a skin condition).

Adapalene works on pimples growing inside the skin, thus during the first few weeks of treatment, your acne may appear worse. To start seeing results from this medicine, allow 8 to 12 weeks.

To reap the greatest benefits from this drug, take it frequently. Use it at the same time every day to aid in memory. Never use more or more frequently than recommended. Your likelihood of experiencing negative side effects (such redness, peeling, or soreness) may rise but your skin won’t get any better any quicker.

This drug comes in a variety of strengths and formats (such as gel, cream, lotion). Your skin’s condition and how you react to therapy will determine the optimum prescription for you to take. If your situation does not improve or if it worsens, let your doctor know.

Women who are or may become pregnant should not handle this medication since it is absorbed through the skin and could harm an unborn child.

Adapalene treats zits that are developing deep within the skin, therefore in the initial stages of treatment, your acne may look worse. Allow 8 to 12 weeks for this medication to start working.

Take this medication frequently to get the most from it. Use it daily at the same time to improve memory. Never use more often or in excess of what is advised. Although your chances of suffering unfavorable side effects (such redness, peeling, or pain) may increase, your skin won’t improve any more quickly.

This medication is available in a range of strengths and forms (such as gel, cream, lotion). The best prescription for you to take will depend on the state of your skin and how you respond to treatment. Tell your doctor if things don’t get better or if they get worse.

Because this drug is absorbed via the skin and can harm an unborn child, pregnant women should not handle it.



Tell your doctor or pharmacist before using adapalene if you have any allergy to it, other medications that interact with vitamin A (such as isotretinoin), or any other medications. Inactive chemicals in this product have the potential to trigger allergic reactions or other issues. To learn more, speak with your pharmacist.

Inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, particularly regarding eczema, before using this medication.

You can become more sun-sensitive as a result of this treatment. Keep sun exposure to a minimum. Avoid using sunlamps and tanning booths. Extreme weather conditions like wind or cold may also irritate skin. When outdoors, always wear protective gear and sunscreen. If you get skin blisters or redness, or if you suffer a sunburn, call your doctor right away. Adapalene shouldn’t be used until your skin has fully healed from a sunburn.

While using this product, refrain from utilizing chemical depilators, waxing, or electrolysis on the treated regions.

Women who are or may become pregnant should not handle this medication since it is absorbed through the skin and could harm an unborn child.

If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Pregnancy should not occur while using adapalene. The unborn child could suffer from adapalene. Consult your doctor as soon as possible about the dangers and advantages of this drug if you find out you’re pregnant.

It is unknown if this medication enters breast milk. Before breastfeeding, speak with your doctor.

Drug interactions can alter how well your prescriptions function or raise your chance of experiencing major adverse effects. All probable medication interactions are not included in this document. Keep a list of everything you use, including herbal products, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and provide it to your doctor and pharmacist. Without your doctor’s approval, never start, stop, or change the dosage of any medications.

On the treated region, stay away from applying harsh, irritating, or drying skin care products. These products include solutions for hair perming, items containing alcohol, lime, or menthol (such as toners, shaving cream, or astringents), medicated or abrasive soaps or cleansers, items with strong drying effects on the skin (such as alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid), and items containing sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid.

Use adapalene with caution if you’ve previously used products that have salicylic acid, resorcinol, or sulfur. Before applying adapalene, wait until the cutaneous effects of such products have subsided.



Call 911 if someone has overdosed and is exhibiting significant symptoms like fainting out or difficulty breathing. If not, immediately dial a poison control hotline. Call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison control center if you’re a US citizen. Residents of Canada can dial a regional poison control center. If swallowed, this drug may be dangerous.


Notes Don’t give this drug to anyone else.

You can use cosmetics, but make sure your skin is completely clean before applying any medications.

Some soaps and cosmetics may make your acne worse. The usage of moisturizers might be harmless. Be sure to look for the terms “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic” on the label when purchasing cosmetics, moisturizers, or other skin care products. Your acne won’t likely become worse if you use these products. How to utilize safe products should be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist. Keep in mind that dirt does not cause acne. Too much or too frequently cleansing your skin might irritate it and make acne worse.


Untaken Dose

If you forget to take this prescription, if you remember the same day, take it as soon as you remember. Wait until your next dose is planned if you don’t remember until the next morning.



Store in a warm environment. Prevent freezing. It’s possible that this medication comes in many forms with various storage needs. The storage requirements for the product you’re using can be found on the package label or by asking your pharmacist. Gel preparations can catch fire. Avoid being near sources of heat or fire. Avoid smoking while using. Keep children and pets away from any drugs.

Unless specifically instructed to do so, avoid flushing drugs down the toilet or pouring them into drains. When the product is no longer needed or has expired, dispose of it properly. Consult your pharmacist or the neighborhood waste management firm.

Sources  [reviewed 04/08/2022]

WebMD [reviewed 04/08/2022]

FDA  [reviewed 04/08/2022

Reviewed by Yousef Yaghoubi (MPharm) on 04/08/2022.

Yousef is a community pharmacist with an extensive experience in minor ailment treatments. He is a graduate of University College London.

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