Differin Cream for Acne
Differin Cream contains the active ingredient adapalene, a synthetic retinoid. Retinoids are chemically related to vitamin A and are commonly used as topical treatment for acne. Produced by Galderma Laboratories, Differin Cream is a prescription-only medication. A gel is also available but is more likely to cause skin irritation, and the cream is formulated for people with sensitive skin.
Acne involves breakouts of pimples are often the result of overactive oil glands. Excess oil prevents dead skin cells from sloughing away, which then clog pores. Clogged pores can become inflamed, and they create a favorable environment for the anaerobic bacteria that causes acne. Retinoids, such as Differin Cream, help the skin shed these dead cells, stimulating new skin growth, unclogging pores and reducing inflammation, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).
Instructions recommend applying Differin Cream before bedtime, unless your physician recommends otherwise. Before applying, wash your face and any other affected areas with a mild cleanser, rinse thoroughly and gently pat the skin dry. You then can apply Differin Cream with your fingers in a thin layer and rub the product in. Using more than recommended does not create better results and may cause skin irritation.
You may not see consistent benefits from Differin Cream for up to eight weeks, according to the official website, although some people see improvement after two weeks. Directions advise to apply Differin Cream once daily for as long as your physician recommends.
Acne may worsen temporarily when you begin using Differin Cream. Differin can also cause skin irritation, including burning or stinging sensations, itching, redness and scaling. Report any more serious skin irritation to your doctor. Differin Cream may cause you to become more sensitive to UV light, which can lead to sunburn. It's best to avoid being in the sun or using tanning booths until you learn how your skin reacts to Differin Cream. In the meantime, use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing whenever you're outside for more than a short period of time.
Adapalene cream shows similar effectiveness as tretinoin and isotretinoin, two other commonly-prescribed topical retinoids, according to a study published in a 2009 issue of "Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists." Both adapalene cream and gel caused less skin irritation as a side effect than either of the other retinoids, as indicated by this study and others cited by the authors.
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