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Epiduo (adapalene, benzoyl peroxide) is an effective treatment for acne, safe for use in patients as young as 9 years old. The product comes as a gel and is suitable only for topical application.

This product contains two active ingredients:

  • Adapalene is a retinoid, or vitamin A derivative. It helps to unclog blocked pores and reduces the redness and inflammation associated with acne. It is relatively unique among retinoids in that it is not deactivated when combined with peroxide.
  • Benzoyl peroxide is a bactericide that reduces the number and frequency of pimples. A moderately effective acne treatment on its own, it is made more powerful when combined with adapalene.

Epiduo is one of few antibiotic-free treatments, with fewer side effects and no contribution to bacterial resistance. Together the two medications help minimize or eliminate acne, replacing it with fresh, youthful-looking skin.

Eliminating Acne with Epiduo

Acne is a very common skin condition, particularly in the teenage years, but its effects can be devastating. Acne can shatter a person's self-esteem and confidence, not to mention lead to permanent scarring and sometimes even more serious medical conditions. Patients suffering more than the occasional breakout are good candidates for Epiduo, as, used properly, it is very unlikely to produce side effects.

Epiduo must be used daily to produce good, consistent results; skipping a day, particularly at the start of treatment, will allow new pimples to start developing under the skin. The medication is very easy to use:

  • Clean and dry the affected area, on the face or trunk.
  • Apply a thin layer of Epiduo to the affected area. On the face, a pea-sized amount for each section---forehead, chin, and each cheek---is ideal.
  • Avoid getting the medication in the eyes, nose, or on the lips.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after application.

The gel should be applied just once per day, ideally at the same time each day. It may be tempting to use it more often, or use greater amounts, but doing so will provide little benefit and may cause unsightly and uncomfortable skin irritation.

Treatment should continue for at least 12 weeks, and may continue for much longer; some patients have used Epiduo for years. Depending on the scenario, it may clear acne up completely and use can stop, or it may simply minimize acne, in which case use should continue. It is normal for acne to worsen during the first 4 to 6 weeks of treatment; while this may be distressing, the majority of patients say the end results are worth it.

In rare instances Epiduo may do very little for acne. If no significant benefit is seen after 12 weeks of treatment, alternative options should be considered.

Use of other products with Epiduo is common, though some caution is advised with anything other than simple moisturizers or makeup. Moisturizers are used because Epiduo can, in some cases, have a dramatic drying effect on the skin. A moisturizer can be applied after Epiduo has dried, as can makeup.

Medicated skin products can likely be used, but patients should check with a doctor first just to be sure.

Epiduo Side Effects

As mentioned above, this product is very unlikely to produce serious side effects. Of greatest concern is an allergic reaction, which will rapidly cause swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, severe itching and/or hives, and confusion. If any of these are experienced, wash the gel off immediately and seek emergency medical attention.

More commonly, side effects are present at the application site:

  • Dry skin
  • Burning or stinging
  • Mild itching at site
  • Skin irritation

The above are not cause for concern unless severe or persistant. A small percentage of patients develop contact dermatitis while using Epiduo.

The medication can cause increased sensitivity to sunlight; patients should use sunscreen and protective clothing until effects are known. Avoid extended sun exposure and tanning beds for the duration of use.


0.1%/2.5% adapalene/benzoyl peroxide  Buy Epiduo 45g - $66.35
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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