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Adapalene (DifferinŽ)

Adapalene is a vitamin A variant that is primarily used to treat moderate cases of acne, and is sometimes used to treat other skin conditions.


Adapalene is a retinoid like tretinoin, but has some different properties. It has anti-inflammatory effects and can also help to exfoliate the skin, which helps reduce acne symptoms. Like other topical treatments, however, the skin commonly becomes irritated initially. Patients need to be patient, as any acne treatment requires considerable time before their effects begin to become noticeable.


The most common side-effect of this drug is irritation of the skin. Redness, sensitivity to sun, wind, and temperature changes are some of the other common side-effects. To mitigate the side-effects:

  • Use sunscreen, and try to minimize exposure to the sun.
  • Avoid applying more than instructed in an attempt to treat acne faster.
  • Apply medication when your skin is dry.
  • Use gentle cleansers and light moisturizers.

Brand names

DifferinŽ 0.1% cream or gel solution (Galderma)


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