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.