Acne treatment Acne treatment

Epiduo for Acne

Epiduo for Acne Epiduo for Acne


Epiduo, a topical prescription gel containing adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, is used to treat severe acne. Adapalene is similar to vitamin A and works beneath the skin to prevent new pimples from forming. Benzoyl peroxide works as both an antibacterial and a cleansing agent to help clear up acne already on the skin. Epiduo is recommended only for people age 12 and older.

Proper Use

Follow prescription instructions carefully and do not use Epiduo more often than recommended by your physician. Physicians typically prescribe Epiduo for once-a-day use. Thoroughly cleanse the skin and pat dry before applying Epiduo in a thin, even layer. Avoid getting Epiduo in your eyes, nose or mouth.

Side Effects

Benzoyl peroxide may cause a feeling of warmth during application, a tingling sensation, slight stinging or skin peeling, according to MedlinePlus. Common side effects of adapalene include scaling, redness, itchiness or a burning sensation. These side effects are most common during the first two to four weeks of treatment. Call your physician if the side effects persist or increase in severity. In rare cases, allergic reaction can occur. Seek emergency help if you are having trouble breathing, develop hives or experience swelling of the face or throat.


Before taking Epiduo for acne, tell your doctor about any other medications or vitamins you are currently using or about any history of eczema or cancer. Avoid using other skin-care products without approval from your doctor, as certain soaps and cleansers can increase the risk of dry skin and irritation when used with adapalene. Epiduo is a category C drug, meaning its effects on an unborn child are unknown. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing or planning to become pregnant before taking Epiduo.

Clinical Studies

The Federal Drug Administration performed several clinical trials and studies prior to approving Epiduo for use against severe acne. During the trials, the combination of the two medications performed significantly better than each medication on its own in reducing non-inflammatory acne, or lesions that are not associated with redness in the skin. However, Epiduo did not significantly out-perform benzoyl peroxide alone in the treatment of inflammatory acne. The FDA trials found Epiduo more irritating to the skin


Medications similar to adapalene have caused tumors in laboratory animals exposed to sunlight. Although it is currently unknown whether adapalene increases the risk of tumors in humans, err on the side of caution and avoid excessive exposure to sun or wear sunscreen when going outside. Keep Epiduo off your clothing, as the benzoyl peroxide has a bleaching effect on some fabrics.

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