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Epiduo (Adapalene 0.1% and Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%)

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Updated June 19, 2014

Epiduo Basics:

Epiduo is a relatively new acne treatment option. It's actually a combination of two different acne medications: adapalene (better known as Differin) and benzoyl peroxide.

Epiduo is used to treat mild to moderate acne. It works for both teens and adults.

You can only get Epiduo with a prescription. As of yet, there is no generic version available.

How Epiduo Works:

Epiduo works to treat acne in several ways. First, as a comedolytic, it reduces the formation of blocked pores and future blemishes. Next, it helps tone down inflammation -- especially good if you tend to get red, inflamed pimples.

And, thanks to the benzoyl peroxide component, the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts (P. acnes) are also diminished.

Because Epiduo hits many of the factors that cause acne, it is an effective treatment for whiteheads and blackheads, as well as inflamed pimples.

How Epiduo Is Used:

Epiduo is applied topically over all areas where acne is a problem. It works on the face, and can also be used to treat body breakouts.

A big bonus feature of this medication is the fact it is applied just once per day. This makes it much easier to remember to use your medication.

Possible Side Effects of Epiduo:

Some possible side effects of Epiduo use include:

  • dryness
  • redness
  • flaking
  • stinging or burning

Luckily, the side effects are typically at their worst during the first few weeks of treatment. After your skin adjusts to the medication, side effects usually diminish.

The FDA lists Epiduo as Pregnancy Category C. Epiduo use hasn't been studied in pregnant women.

Tips for Using Epiduo:

  • This medication can cause photosensitivity, so wearing sunscreen is key. Also, stay out of tanning beds and booths (a good practice for everyone, really).
  • Don't have a waxing treatment done on any areas you're using Epiduo. This could cause serious skin irritation.
  • Stay away from harsh or drying skin care products. This can include scrubs, alcohol-based toners, and other OTC acne treatment products unless your doc gives you the OK.
  • Tell your doctor if side effects are making you very uncomfortable, or seem really severe.
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