What Is Adapalene/Benzoyl Peroxide Used For?
If you have acne and are at least nine years old, a healthcare provider may prescribe adapalene/benzoyl peroxide. This medication works by combining two acne medications that help treat current pimples and prevent future outbreaks from occurring. Possible off-label uses of adapalene/benzoyl peroxide include treating a skin condition called keratosis pilaris.
Adapalene/benzoyl peroxide (Epiduo®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat acne in people nine years old and older. It is a combination of two other acne medications -- adapalene (Differin®), a retinoid, and benzoyl peroxide. It is applied directly to the areas of the skin that are affected by acne.
Acne is a condition that affects the skin's oil glands and follicles. Follicles are the canals that connect the tiny holes or pores in your skin to the oil glands underneath the skin. Sometimes, the follicles get clogged with skin cells and sebum, an oily substance made by the oil glands. This mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria, known as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), to grow inside the plugged follicles.
If the clogged follicle wall ruptures, white blood cells rush in to the area, causing inflammation. As the white blood cells make their way to the skin's surface, a pimple forms.
The term "acne" simply refers to several pimples occurring together. The exact cause of acne is unknown, and is probably due to several things (see Causes of Acne for more information).
Acne is a very common skin disease. Although it is not a serious health threat, severe acne can lead to disfiguring, permanent scarring. In addition, acne can be very upsetting to people affected by it, leading to embarrassment, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Adapalene/benzoyl peroxide is one of many different prescription acne medications currently available. Like many acne medications, adapalene/benzoyl peroxide can make the skin appear worse before it gets better. Often, the skin may become irritated, red, and flaky. However, this usually gets better with time as the medicine starts to work.
(Click Acne to learn more about this condition.)