A prescription acne treatment
Epiduo 0.1%/2.5% gel is a prescription acne treatment which is available to order from The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service. You can buy Epiduo gel online following a free consultation from one of our specialists. To find out more about acne and see all the available treatments, visit our acne page.
Epiduo is a topical gel used to treat acne. It is manufactured by Galderma UK Ltd and comes in a practical 45g pump dispenser. Epiduo gel contains two active ingredients: adapalene 0.1% and benzoyl peroxide 2.5%.
What causes acne?
Sebum is produced by glands just under the surface of the skin called sebaceous glands. Sebum is a natural, oily substance needed to keep the skin smooth and supple. However, sufferers of acne often produce too much sebum, which can cause the pores to become blocked and infected. Blocked pores can then lead to the formation of spots, blackheads and whiteheads.
What is adapalene?
Adapalene is a topical retinoid. It is particularly effective at treating acne which has been caused by comedones (clogged hair follicles in your skin). Adapalene addresses your acne by inhibiting the keratinocyte differentiation that leads to comedone formation.
What is benzoyl peroxide?
Benzoyl peroxide is a bactericide used to treat acne. It tackles acne by working as an antiseptic. This reduces the amount of acne-causing bacteria (P. acnes) on the surface of your skin.
The combination of adapalene 0.1% and benzoyl peroxide 2.5% in Epiduo gel helps significantly reduce acne breakouts, as well as preventing or reducing future acne occurrences.
How does Epiduo gel work?
Epiduo gel contains adapalene, which is a synthetic retinoid. It works to reduce the growth of keratin surface skin cells that can block pores. When adapalene is applied to an affected area, it will help unblock the pores and sebaceous glands, allowing the sebum to escape. This will decrease the redness, swelling and inflammation associated with acne.
Epiduo gel also contains benzoyl peroxide, an antimicrobial medicine designed to kill the bacteria that can lead to acne symptoms. It also helps promote skin turnover, which will further help clear blocked pores and reduce the bacterial count on the skin’s surface. It is effective at treating blackheads, whiteheads, and inflamed red spots.
Combining both these ingredients in a single treatment will help provide an effective means of treating and controlling mild to moderate symptoms of acne. Epiduo has been clinically tested and approved for both short and long-term acne treatment.
Main benefits of Epiduo gel
- It is the only topical combination acne treatment which is free of antibiotics
- It kills Propionibacterium acnes – the bacteria which cause acne
- It helps to clear existing acne
- It helps to stop future acne breakouts
- It helps to dry greasy skin
Epiduo is a good treatment option for acne that should be prescribed when benzoyl peroxide (Panoxyl) or adapalene (Differin) used on their own have failed. Using them in combination, as you find with Epiduo gel, may be more effective and help treat more severe cases of acne.
How to use an Epiduo gel pump
Epiduo gel is dispensed from a 45g pump. Before you apply epiduo gel, make sure you have washed your hands and cleaned the affected area of skin you are treating. Once you have done this, use the pump to dispense epiduo gel and apply a thin layer of the medication to your skin. This process should be repeated as directed by your doctor or pharmacist (usually once a day).
Early signs of improvement in acne symptoms usually appear after 1 to 4 weeks of treatment.
Epiduo gel reviews
Reviews from users of Epiduo gel have noted the high success rate of the treatment, but explained that you will need to persist (some reviewers explaining that it took 4 months to see a transformative effect) with the treatment to see positive results.
These reviews detail that some users experience an initial purge period, during which you may find that your acne symptoms get worse before settling down. You may see some redness and irritation in the first few weeks of treatment.
Other topical treatments available for acne
Epiduo gel is a topical retinoid and it works by normalising hyperkeratinisation, which removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and therefore unblocks your pores. The other topical treatments available for your acne are:
- Topical antibiotics – this kills the bacteria on your skin which is responsible for infecting your clogged hair follicles. These include Zineryt and Dalacin T.
- Other topical treatments - these work in a similar way to Epiduo by reducing the build up of dead skin cells, helping keeping your pores clear and therefore stopping blackheads and whiteheads. These include Acnecide and Differin. They are suitable for mild to moderate acne and can be combined with antibiotics for a greater effect.
- Azelaic acid (Skinoren) – this removes your dead skin cells and kills Propionibacterium acnes
- Antibiotic tablets – normally used in combination with topical non-antibiotic treatments, this also kills P acnes and reduces the inflammation caused by acne. These are suitable for moderate to severe acne and include Tetralysal and Oxytetracycline. Oral antibiotics work well with Epiduo to reduce severe acne.
Are there any natural treatments for acne?
Alongside the available prescription treatments for acne, there are a number of natural remedies that you can use to tackle your acne. You should also establish good skincare routines and make sure that you are:
- Cleansing your skin
- Exfoliating your skin
- Moisturising your skin
- Avoiding excessive sun exposure
You can read more about preventing acne on our advice page.
Epiduo Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/451/pil