Differin is the brand name of the topical drug Adapalen, which is used to treat acne.
The drug is also sometimes prescribed for the treatment of piluris keratosis (a condition characterized by coarse spots and small cones on the skin) and other skin problems.
Dipherin refers to a class of drugs called retinoid-like compounds. It works by stopping the formation of acne under the skin.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Differin in 1996 as a prescription drug; in July 2016, the FDA approved Differin for sale without a prescription. It is manufactured by Galderma Laboratories.
Before using Differin, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:
- Eczema (skin condition)
- Allergy to medicines
Differin can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and tanning booths when using this medication. Apply sunscreen, wear sunglasses and protective clothing on the street.
Drugs like Differin caused tumors in laboratory animals given a drug and exposed to sunlight. It is not known whether these effects are applicable to humans. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
Do not use hot wax to remove unwanted hair in areas where you apply Differin.
Your skin may get worse during the first few weeks of treatment with Differin. It can take 8 to 12 weeks before you notice all the benefits of this medication.
Continue to use Differin, even if the skin condition worsens. Do not stop taking this medication before talking to your doctor.
Do not apply this medicine to skin that is damaged, tanned, cracked or covered with eczema.
Differin should not be used by children under 12 years of age.
Do not use Differin on the eyes, nose and mouth. If the product accidentally gets into the eyes, rinse the area thoroughly with water and consult a doctor.
Pregnancy and Differin
Differin can harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or can become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether Diferin enters breast milk and whether it will be harmful to the infant. Do not use Differin during breastfeeding without first talking to your doctor.
Common side effects
Most side effects of Differin are likely to occur within the first two to four weeks of treatment.
Tell your doctor if any of the following symptoms become serious or persistent:
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you experience the following serious side effects:
- Signs of anaphylaxis, severe allergic reaction (signs may include hives, rash, itching, chest tightness, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat)
Tell your doctor about all the medications you take, especially other skin care products, including soap, detergents, moisturizers and cosmetics (especially those containing alpha hydroxy or glycolic acid).
Differin is supplied as a gel or cream for application to the skin. Usually it is used once a day before bedtime.
Follow the instructions on the label carefully. Do not use more or less Differin than recommended.
Be sure to wash your hands before using this medication. Clean the skin with a mild detergent and wipe it. Then apply a thin layer of Differin.
Try to avoid Differin in the areas around the eyes, lips and nose.
Symptoms of an overdose of Differin may include:
- Redness of the skin
If you swallow Differin or suspect an overdose, immediately contact a toxicology center or an emergency department.
You can contact the Toxicology Center
The missed dose of diphtherin
If you miss a dose of Differin, take it as soon as you remember.
Forget the missed dose if it’s time for the next scheduled dose.
Do not double the dose to make up the missed one.