What Are the Uses of Adapalene Gel?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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Adapalene gel is a prescription medication that is used primarily to treat mild to moderate acne, especially a condition known as acne vulgaris. In some situations, adapalene gel may be used to treat a skin condition known as keratosis pilaris. Mild skin irritation may develop as a result of using this medication, although this side effect typically lessens after the product has been used for a few days or weeks. Any questions or concerns about the use of adapalene gel on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Mild to moderate acne may be treated with adapalene gel, although this drug is more commonly used to treat more severe forms of this skin condition. Acne normally consists of small bumps known as pimples and is considered a relatively normal part of puberty. Over-the-counter acne medications or cleansers are usually sufficient, but stubborn cases of acne may sometimes be treated with a prescription medication such as adapalene gel.

Acne vulgaris, also referred to as cystic acne, is commonly treated with adapalene gel. Symptoms of this form of acne include red, scaly skin and the development of cysts or nodules that can vary from small to quite large. Cystic acne affects deeper skin tissues than ordinary acne and can leave behind significant scarring. The nodules associated with this condition may appear in the armpits, groin, or buttocks in addiction to the face.


In some cases, adapalene gel may be used off-label to treat a skin condition known as keratosis pilaris. This is a genetic condition that causes reddened, rough bumps to appear on the skin, especially on the upper arms. The palms of the hands and soles of the feet are not affected by keratosis pilaris, and outbreaks on the face may sometimes be mistaken for acne. This condition does not cause discomfort or hold any medical significance, although some people may develop self-esteem issues due to the disorder.

The most common side effect of adapalene gel is mild skin irritation at the application site. This may include redness, burning, or stinging. These symptoms are usually quite mild and disappear with continued use. If the irritation is severe or if pain develops, the supervising physician may recommend the discontinuation of the product. A few people may notice a worsening of acne symptoms during the first month of therapy, although the cause for this is not completely understood.


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Post 3

@bear78-- Adapalene gel seems to work well for some people and not so much for others. It worked relatively well for me. But I experienced some sensitivity to it. It causes a slight burning sensation when applied and makes skin very dry. But applying an oil free moisturizer afterward (after the adapalene has dried and absorbed) helps.

Post 2

@bear78-- I'm using adapalene gel for acne. I've been using it for about eight months now.

Yes, it takes some time for this treatment to work. My doctor said six weeks on average, although it could take shorter or longer to start seeing effects. I started seeing improvements after the first month but it took about three months for my skin to look considerably better.

And I should warn you that adapalene causes more breakouts before it clears up skin. My skin during the first month of using this was very bad. I had more pimples than before. My doctor said that the medication causes some purging in the beginning, but it will prevent breakouts after all of that has cleared.

Post 1

Is anyone here using adapalene gel? Has it worked for you?

My doctor has prescribed it for my mild acne but he also said that it might take some time to work. How long does it take exactly?

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