Adapalene cream is a topical medication prescribed to treat cases of severe acne that may work by lowering the number of blackheads formed and encouraging skin cell exfoliation and renewal. This cream is a retinoid-like compound that can help prevent acne. Since acne typically takes six to eight weeks to develop underneath a patient's skin, the patient may notice worsening acne with treatment before it begins to clear up. This is because the medication can force the acne to the skin's surface while it works to prevent new acne from forming.
Following the initial six to eight weeks of treatment, it may take several more weeks before the patient notices an improvement in his skin condition. Patients should continue to use the cream even if improvements are gradual, and they should not discontinue the drug without consulting their doctors. When applying adapalene cream, the patient should be very careful to avoid getting the product into his mouth, nose, or eyes. It should also not be applied to skin that is affected by eczema, or skin that is sunburned or otherwise damaged.
Before applying adapalene cream, patients should wash the affected skin with a gentle cleanser or soap and pat it dry gently. Abrasive cleansers should be avoided, because these can irritate the skin. A thin layer of the cream should be evenly distributed over the affected area. It is typical for patients to feel a mild tingling feeling or sensation of warmth immediately following each application. Adapalene cream is typically applied once daily in the evening, or as directed by a doctor.
Some side effects may occur with the use of adapalene cream for severe acne, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they become severe. Side effects are more likely to occur within the first two to four weeks of treatment, and they will typically dissipate following this time period. Patients may experience dryness of the skin or itchiness and scaling. Burning or stinging may occur, along with temporary redness.
More severe side effects are rare with this acne medication. Some patients may experience an allergic reaction, which can cause excessive peeling, crusting, or blistering of the skin. Allergic reactions may also cause a rash, facial swelling, and difficulty breathing. Patients should go to the emergency room immediately if they experience a reaction.
Certain precautions should be followed while using adapalene cream for acne. Patients must avoid tanning and excessive exposure to sunlight and should use a moisturizer that does not contain glycolic acids or alpha hydroxy. This cream is not recommended for use by children under the age of 12. Women who are nursing or pregnant should discuss potential risks with their doctors.