Epiduo is a prescription only anti-acne medication. Its effectiveness is mixed, however, caution is recommended due to possible side effects.
Epiduo is an acne treatment gel containing benzoyl peroxide and adapalene, an anti-inflammatory. It is available by prescription only, so those who are interested in giving it a try will need to talk to their doctor. Most any physician can prescribe Epiduo, including family doctors and pediatricians. Some doctors may base their recommendation on the type and severity of the acne. Some doctors may choose to recommend over the counter medications or home treatments in some cases.
How Does Epiduo Work?
Epiduo contains two active ingredients, rare among top acne medications (most contain either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, but not usually both in the same product). This two-ingredient combination is where it gets the “duo” portion of its name. The first ingredient, benzoyl peroxide, is an antibacterial agent as well as a skin drying agent. Not only will it dry oil on the skin and in pores, but it also kills acne causing bacteria, according to WebMD. The second active ingredient, adapalene, is an anti-inflammatory. It reduces redness and inflammation on the skin, while also affecting growth cells.
The gel is applied after cleansing. Patients should ask their doctors what type of cleanser should be used before applying Epiduo. A non-comedogenic moisturizer can also be used if dryness occurs, according to the Epiduo website. Some people prefer using a natural moisturizer, such as Jojoba oil.
Does Epiduo Really Work?
According to their website, Epiduo has been proven effective in numerous clinical trials involving thousands of acne sufferers. This gives indication that it is effective, at least for some. Anecdotal evidence also exists, however. Reviews of the product have been mostly favorable, with many patients noticing drastic results with their skin’s appearance and breakout frequency.
The most common complaints are dryness, redness, and discomfort at the application sites. These side effects usually subside within a few weeks, as Epiduo is intended for long-term use. Doctors may prescribe a high-quality moisturizer to offset some of these negative effects. In some cases, side effects may become severe enough to discontinue use, although most patients claimed they continued using the product until side effects went away (according to many online reviews).
The Negatives of Epiduo
Like with any product, there are some potential downsides to using Epiduo. The most troublesome are the dryness, peeling, flaking, and redness which can occur for some users. Others may find the cost prohibitive, since it does require a visit to a physician, as well as the cost of the prescription. Insurance may cover some of the cost for some users. The Epiduo website also points out that prescriptions often only need to be filled once every three months, since only a very small amount of gel is needed for most users.
Who Should Use Epiduo?
Since it does require a prescription, and because it does contain more powerful acne fighting medications, Epiduo is usually given to those who have moderate to severe acne for whom other treatments have been unsuccessful. Those who are interested in trying Epiduo, or any other acne medication, should speak to their doctors to discuss options. Use caution, as possible side effects can be severe.