Effective prescription treatments for adult acne

Have you gotten yourself into a spot of bother trying to find an effective acne treatment now that Retin-A is no longer available? Well there is no reason to be a hothead about those blackheads! Medical Specialists Pharmacy are here to the rescue with three exciting products to combat acne; Duac, Differin and Epiduo – with the latter two being shown to have anti-ageing benefits too!

If you are unfamiliar with these treatments, we’ll begin by explaining about them and how they work:

Duac

Duac once daily gel is a prescription only acne treatment that can be obtained in either a 25g or 50g tube. The gel is comprised of two key active ingredients that are common medications often used in treating inflammatory acne; 1% clindamycin phosphate and 5% benzoyl peroxide. The antibiotic Clindamycin destroys the bacteria associated with acne while benzoyl peroxide reduces blackheads and whiteheads, making the skin less oily.

Tips for using Duac

. Keep Duac away from your eyes, mouth, nose or mucous membranes. The medication can irritate these particular areas.

. The benzoyl peroxide may bleach hair, clothing, pillowcases, towels, etc. so don’t let it come in contact with these until fully dry and always make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after use.

. If you are using Duac prior to going to bed, a white pillowcase is advised. Other colours may bleach out, regardless if the medication is fully dry or not.

. Have some patience with the medication and the results will be worth it! It may take 4 to 6 weeks before you see the full effect of Duac once daily gel.

Differin

Obtainable in either a gel or cream (both are a 45g size), Differin is a prescription medication used for the treatment of mild to moderate acne. It belongs to a class of medication called ‘retinoids’ and its active ingredient is a form of vitamin A called ‘adapalene’ which has an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing soreness and irritation in the skin. Differin increases the turnover of the skin cells.  This aids the natural exfoliation of the outer layers of skin, helping to unblock pores and decreases the formation of comedones and spots. It is used on the face, chest or back for acne, where the skin has lots of blackheads, spots and pimples. Differin is only absorbed into the body in very small amounts and has little effect, except on the surface of the skin. Differin has also been shown to be an effective treatment for anti-ageing.[1]

Tips for using Differin

. For a female; whilst using Differin you must always take precautions when having intimate relations. Should you become pregnant, immediately stop using the medication. In addition, never use Differin when breastfeeding.

. Keep Differin away from your eyes, mouth, nose or mucous membranes. If the medication accidentally comes into contact with your eyes, make sure to immediately wash it out using warm water.

. Differin works by preventing pimples from forming under the surface of the skin. Therefore, simply spot-treating existing pimples will not be very effective. It is advised to apply Differin over the whole area where acne is problematic.

. It is possible to use other skin preparations to treat acne whilst using Differin and some people can be prescribed both Duac and Differin for their acne, obviously following advice from their own doctor. Other treatments should be applied at a different time of day to when you would use the Differin.

. To see maximum result, use Differin regularly and it might be ideal to apply it at the same time daily. Do not apply a larger amount than necessary or use the medication more frequently than advised by your doctor. Otherwise, this could result in pain, redness and peeling.

Epiduo

Epiduo is an effective, prescription only acne treatment available in the form of a once-daily gel. Epiduo is a white to very pale yellow opaque gel and combines two active ingredients; 0.1% adapalene and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide which work together but in different ways. Adapalene belongs to a class of medications called ‘retinoids’ and acts specifically on the skin processes that cause acne. The other active ingredient, benzoyl peroxide, works as an antimicrobial agent and by softening and peeling the outer layer of the skin. The gel unblocks the skin’s pores and kills the bacteria that causes spots to form, thus helping to prevent new spots from breaking out and reduces inflamed, uncomfortable spots. Epiduo also treats blackheads and whiteheads. The active ingredient in Epiduo has been shown to be effective treatment for wrinkles and anti-ageing.[1]

Tips for using Epiduo

. For a female; whilst using Epiduo, you must always take precautions when having intimate relations. Should you become pregnant, immediately stop using the medication. In addition, never use Epiduo when breastfeeding.

. To see maximum result, use Epiduo regularly and it might be ideal to apply it at the same time daily. Do not apply a larger amount than necessary or use the medication more frequently than advised by your doctor. Otherwise, this could result in pain, redness and peeling.

. Only use Epiduo on the skin and do not apply it to the inner lip area, inside the nose and mouth, or on mucus membranes. Do not use the Epiduo on skin that is cut, scraped, sunburned or affected by eczema.

. Epiduo is applied topically over all skin areas where acne is a problem. As well as a facial treatment, and it can be used body breakouts too.

Which is right for you?

Medical Specialists Pharmacy advises you to undergo a consultation with your own GP to ascertain the type and severity of your acne. With this knowledge and the information we have provided about these medications, you may then choose the most appropriate treatment. Duac, Differin and Epiduo are all available today at low prices from the ‘Skin & Scalp’ area of the Medical Specialists website.

1. Herane MI. et al (2012) “Clinical efficacy of adapalene (differin®) 0.3% gel in Chilean women with cutaneous photoaging. ” J Dermatolog Treat. 57-64. PMID 22007702

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