- Treats moderate to severe acne
- Topical retinoid treatment
- Fights against acne causing bacteria
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What is Epiduo gel?
Epiduo 0.1%/2.5% gel is a topical gel medicine which contains the active ingredients adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. It is a treatment for acne in adults and children aged 9 years and above. You cannot buy Epiduo gel without a prescription.
It works to unblock the pores and sebaceous glands, which helps to decrease inflammation and redness caused by acne.
Additionally, it kills the bacteria that cause acne and promotes skin turnover, which also helps to clear blocked pores and reduce harmful bacteria on the skin.
Epiduo gel is particularly useful when used to treat acne that is moderate to severe.
What is Epiduo gel used to treat?
This lightweight gel is an effective acne treatment.
Sebum is a natural, oily substance that is required to keep your skin smooth. Acne is often caused by an overproduction of sebum, which can block the skin's pores and cause them to become infected. This can result in the formation of spots, whiteheads and blackheads.
Using Epiduo gel has provided effective treatment for acne for many sufferers. The active ingredient, adapalene, belongs to a group of drugs called retinoids and acts specifically on the skin processes that create acne.
Benzoyl peroxide is an antimicrobial agent that softens and peels the outer layering of the skin. It is an antiseptic which fights the bacteria that causes acne.
As well as acne spots, using Epiduo will also treat blackheads and whiteheads.
How does Epiduo gel work?
Epiduo’s two active ingredients work in separate ways to treat acne.
Adapalene is a synthetic retinoid that reduces the growth of keratin skin cells, which can be responsible for blocking the skin’s pores. This ingredient works to unblock the pores and sebaceous glands, which helps sebum to escape. This action works to relieve redness and inflammation.
Benzoyl peroxide is an antimicrobial. This active ingredient will kill the bacteria that causes acne. Furthermore, it will help to reduce bacteria by promoting skin turnover, which also helps to clear blocked pores.
Does Epiduo gel reduce acne scarring?
Epiduo can help to reduce acne scarring from previous acne outbreaks. A clinical study concluded that Epiduo can reduce the risk of new acne scars from forming. During the clinical study, Epiduo also increased the percentage of people with 'hardly visible scars' from 9.7% to 45.2%, thus demonstrating that it is an effective topical long term treatment for acne scars.
How to use Epiduo gel
Adults should apply a thin layer of gel to the affected area once a day, in the evening. Your doctor will advise you on how long you should use Epiduo gel.
- Wash your face with warm water and a mild cleanser before applying Epiduo gel. Pat the skin dry.
- Apply a thin film of gel evenly over the affected areas at bedtime.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after applying the gel.
Always refer to the patient information leaflet for full instructions
Who can use Epiduo gel?
Epiduo gel may not be suitable for everyone to use as an acne treatment.
Do not use Epiduo gel if any of the below apply to you:
- You are allergic to benzoyl peroxide, adapalene or any other ingredient contained in this medicine
- You are currently pregnant or think you might be pregnant
- You are trying to get pregnant
It is not suitable for children who are under the age of 9 years old.
Full details of why Epiduo gel may not be suitable for you can be found in the patient information leaflet.
Epiduo common side effects
Like all acne treatments, Epiduo gel can cause a risk of certain side effects, although these will not affect everyone who uses the medicine.
Around 1 in every 10 people who use Epiduo gel may experience adverse skin reactions.
Common side effects of using this medicine affect 1 in 10 people and may include:
- Skin irritation
- Skin burning sensation
These reactions may affect 1 in every 100 people who apply Epiduo gel:
- Dry skin
- Tingling sensation or pins and needles at the application site(s)
- Itching of the skin
- Allergic skin reaction
This list is not exhaustive. Please, refer to the Side Effects tab or read the patient information leaflet for a list of rarer, more serious reactions you may experience while using this acne medication
Can you buy Epiduo gel over the counter?
No, Epiduo gel is a prescription-only medicine (POM), meaning it is not for sale over the counter. You must have been prescribed this medication by a medical professional.
Can you buy Epiduo gel online in the UK?
Yes, you can buy Epiduo gel online, but you should only order it from a regulated pharmacy, like Medicine Direct. You can find out more about the official councils and associations that regulate us on our About Us page.
As Epiduo gel is a prescription medicine, you will need to fill out an online consultation questionnaire before you can order it. This will be assessed by a registered prescriber, who will review your answers and assess your condition to make sure Epiduo is a suitable medicine for you to use.
Epiduo gel alternatives
A large number of medicines are available to treat acne. Acne comes in varying levels of severity and can affect people differently, so some treatments may be more suitable for certain types of acne.
Benzoyl peroxide is also one of the active ingredients contained in Duac gel.
Treclin Gel is another topical treatment that includes active retinoids such as Tretinoin.
Other topical treatments available for acne treatment include:
- Finacea gel
- Dalacin T lotion
Oral medication may also be prescribed to treat acne, such as Erythromycin or Minocycline.
Always apply Epiduo gel exactly as instructed by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet, which will accompany your medicine, thoroughly before you start to use it. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure how to apply Epiduo.
This medicine should not be used by anyone who is under the age of 12 years old.
Do not stop using acne treatments until you have completed the course of treatment set out by your doctor.
our pharmacists and prescribers will follow NICE guidelines when prescribing epiduo Gel.
How long will I need to use it for?
Your doctor will advise you on how long you need to use acne treatments.
If you have been using Epiduo for longer than 4 weeks and have not noticed any improvement in your acne, you should go back to your doctor to discuss whether you should continue this treatment.
They may prescribe you another medicine to purchase from the pharmacy.
What if I use more than I am supposed to?
Applying more Epiduo gel than you have been instructed to will not treat your acne any faster or more effectively.
Your skin may become irritated and/or red.
You should contact your doctor or pharmacy immediately if:
- Your child has accidentally taken the medication
- You have applied more Epiduo gel than you were supposed to
- You or someone else has accidentally swallowed some of the medicine
What if I forget to apply it?
If you forget to apply it, wait until the next night and continue to apply Epiduo as normal.
Do not apply it more than once in the same 24 hour period.
Epiduo Gel FAQ's
What is Epiduo Gel used for?
How long does it take for Epiduo to work?
Can Epiduo get rid of acne scars?
Do I need to apply Epiduo every night?
Can Epiduo gel be used alongside other acne treatments?
How long do I need to use Epiduo gel?
Should I use a moisturiser before I apply Epiduo?
Is it safe to use in the long term?
How does Epiduo compare to Differin?
Is it safe to drink alcohol with it?
Can I wear makeup when using Epiduo?
Will Epiduo make my acne worse?
How long does the Epiduo skin purge last?
When is the best time to apply Epiduo?
Should I rub Epiduo into my skin?
Is Epiduo gel a retinol?
What is the price of Epiduo gel?
When should I stop using Epiduo?
Are there any side effects of Epiduo gel?
Epiduo Serious Side Effects
The more common side effects of Epiduo gel can be found on the main product page.
It is not known how likely you are to experience the following side effects of Epiduo gel, but you should speak to your doctor if you experience:
- Burns to the affected areas you have applied the gel
- Changes in the colour of your skin
- Swelling of the eyelids
- Skin pain
Your doctor may instruct you to apply a lower dose of the medicine, or apply it less frequently.
In rare cases, you may suffer from a serious allergic reaction from using this medicine.
Call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- You are finding it difficult to speak or breathe
- You have tightness in your chest or throat
- You are wheezing
- You develop a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- You have swelling in the mouth, face, tongue, lips or throat
You may need immediate treatment in hospital.
Always read the patient information leaflet before using Epiduo Gel.
Epiduo Gel Warnings and drug interactions
Other medicines and treatments may interact with Epiduo gel and hinder its effectiveness, or increase your risk of suffering from side effects.
You must always tell your doctor if you are currently taking any other medication before you start taking another one. This includes prescription and non-prescription medicines, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
In particular, make sure you inform your doctor if you are currently using any of the following treatments:
- Any other acne treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide and/or retinoids.
- Try to avoid using this gel at the same time as any cosmetics; this could irritate, dry or exfoliate your skin
Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before using any benzoyl peroxide products, for a full list of drug interactions.
If you have any questions or concerns, we strongly advise you to discuss these with your doctor or pharmacy before you begin your course of treatment.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This medicine is not suitable for women who are pregnant. If you are currently pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant, make sure you tell your doctor. Alternative treatments may be more suitable for you to use.
Speak to your doctor before using this medication if you are currently breastfeeding. If your doctor has told you it is safe to use, do not apply Epiduo gel to your chest area; this will stop your baby from ingesting the gel.
Epiduo Gel Ingredients
The main active ingredients within this medicine are: Benzoyl peroxide and Adapalene
For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics
Published on: 12/10/2020
Updated on: 24/08/2021
This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan
How it works - get your medicine in 3 simple steps
- 1 Choose your treatment Select the treatment or medication you need and answer a few questions online regarding your condition.
- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
- 3 Receive your delivery Your medication is dispensed and delivered directly to you from our UK based Pharmacy.