Drugs Home > What Is Adapalene Used For?

There are several possible reasons to use adapalene, but the drug is only approved to treat acne. Other, unapproved ("off-label") uses include treating psoriasis, fine wrinkles, and rosacea. This prescription medication is thought to work by slowing down the rapid growth of skin cells and reducing inflammation. It typically takes about a month to notice an improvement in your condition.

An Overview of Adapalene Uses

Adapalene (Differin®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat acne. It is also occasionally used "off-label" for a few different, unapproved uses.
 
Adapalene is one of many different prescription acne medications currently available. Like many acne medications, adapalene can make the skin appear worse before it gets better. Often, the skin may become irritated, red, and flaky. However, this usually gets better with time, and clearer skin should be noticeable within a month or so.
 
If your skin has not improved within two to three months, you should be reevaluated by your healthcare provider -- it's possible that a different treatment strategy will be necessary.
 
Your healthcare provider might recommend that you use adapalene alone or with another acne medication. Because adapalene is applied in the evening (typically at bedtime), your healthcare provider may recommend a different type of acne treatment for use in the morning.
 

How Does the Medication Work?

Adapalene belongs to a group of medications known as retinoids, meaning it is chemically related to vitamin A. Some other well-known retinoids include Retin-A® and Accutane®.
 
Adapalene and other retinoids are thought to work by suppressing inflammation and slowing down the rapid growth of skin cells.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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