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    Adapalene gel (generic Differin)

    On this page

    Adapalene gel has an anti-inflammatory effect, aiming to reduce blackheads, soreness and irritation.

    How is Adapalene gel (Differin) applied?

    Apply a thin layer of the gel to freshly washed, dry skin prior to going to bed.

    How it works

    Whether your skin is oilier due to hormonal changes, or your pores have become blocked for some other reason, blocked pores are usually the root cause of acne. Adapalene works to reduce the appearance of acne by unblocking pores, reducing inflammation, mild spots as well as blackheads and whiteheads.

    Often prescribed in early acne and it can be 4 weeks before you start to see a noticeable clearing of your skin. After the acne is cleared you may need to keep using the gel to keep any further flare ups at bay.

    Is Adapalene gel effective?

    Adapalene will reduce redness and inflammation for a lot of patients using it, however, you may have to wait four weeks before you start seeing the effectiveness of the gel in clearing up acne. Acne is likely to flare up after stopping treatment, to avoid this you may have to apply a lighter dose of the acne treatment for some years after to keep the condition under control.

    Are there any side effects to Adapalene gel?

    Adapalene can cause irritation to the skin, dryness, a burning sensation and redness. In rare cases the gel can cause a local skin reaction, discomfort, itchiness or peeling skin, plus it can make people more sensitive to the sun.

    For full information on side effects and correct use, see the patient information leaflet.

    Is it safe to apply Adapalene during pregnacy or breastfeeding?

    While Adapalene is absorbed into the body in very small quantities it is not safe to apply the gel whilst pregnant or breastfeeding.  

    Will Adapalene interact with other medication?

    You can use other topical acne medications alongside Adapalene, however they should be used in the morning and your Adapalene at night. You should avoid any products that contain tretinoin, isotretinoin or tazarotene.

    You should make your doctor aware of any other medicines you are taking, particularly those for other skin conditions such as eczema.

    Alternative treatments for acne

    There are a variety of other acne treatments that can be taken, including a range of other acne creams, as well as combination packages of oral antibiotics and gels or creams. Some women may also be prescribed Co-cyprindiol (generic Dianette or Clairette), a contraceptive pill to treat their acne.

    Reordering Adapalene gel

    We will contact you through your Patient Record 6 weeks from your order to see how you are getting on with the medication. We may ask for some photos at this time as well to assess the response to treatment. It will also be an opportunity for you to give us feedback on your acne. To reorder Adapalene gel, go to your Patient Record and select ‘reorder’. You will be required to fill in the online questionnaire each time you reorder.

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    How our service works

    1. Complete our simple, confidential online consultation

      5 mins

    2. One of our clinicians confirms your suitability and notifies you by email

      About 30 mins (Mon-Sun 9am-5pm)

    3. Choose delivery or collection

      Next day delivery

      Collect in your local ParcelShop​​​​​​​

    What our patients say

    Meet our clinical team

    Based in our London office, our doctors and independent pharmacists have years of experience caring for patients in NHS hospitals, GP surgeries or in community pharmacies. Any one of the team may provide you with advice, your prescription or aftercare via private message.

    Meet the whole team
    • Dr Kieran Seyan  - Meet the clinical team at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      Dr Kieran Seyan

      GMC: 6104204

    • Dr Gigi Taguri  - Meet the clinical team at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      Dr Gigi Taguri

      GMC: 6129350

    • Dr Mitra Dutt- Meet the clinical team at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      Dr Mitra Dutt

      GMC: 6077868

    • Dr Neel Patel

      Dr Neel Patel

      GMC: 7085151

    Meet the whole team

    Delivery & collection information

    • Standard delivery


      Delivered within 2-3 working days.

    • Next-day delivery


      Orders approved before 5pm Monday-Friday will arrive within 1-2 working days. Orders approved between 5pm Friday and 12pm Sunday will usually arrive on Monday or Tuesday.

    • Standard ParcelShop collection


      Collect from 7000+ convenient ParcelShops in 2-3 working days.

    • Next day ParcelShop collection


      Collect next day from 7000+ convenient ParcelShop locations, if approved before 5pm Monday-Friday. Saturday and Sunday orders, collect Monday if approved before 12pm Sunday or Tuesday if ordered after 12pm. 

    • London same-day collection


      Order before 5pm Monday-Friday to collect in pharmacy the same day. Subject to the availability of your treatment in your selected London pharmacy.

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        LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

        This service operates in the United Kingdom only

        LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

        This service operates in the United Kingdom only

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        LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

        This service operates in the Republic of Ireland only

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