About Your Medicine
Your doctor has prescribed the following medicine:
- Adapalene (e.g. Differin® cream, Differin® gel)
- Isotretinoin (e.g. Isotrex® gel)
- Tretinoin (e.g. Retacnyl® cream, Retin-A® cream/gel, Stieva-A® cream)
What is this medicine used for?
Topical adapalene/ isotretinoin / tretinoin is applied to the skin to treat acne. It may also be used to treat other skin problems as determined by your doctor.
This medicine has been prescribed for your present skin condition only and should not be given to other people or used for other problems.
How should I use it?
- Wash the skin with cleanser, then rinse and pat dry.
- Apply enough medicine to cover the affected areas, and rub in gently to ensure good absorption.
- If using this preparation for the first time, start with applying on a small area of affected part and increase gradually to other areas over the following week if there is no skin irritation. Alternatively, start by using every other day for the first two weeks, then apply daily.
- Do not use the medicine on open wounds, in or around the eyes, lips, mouth or nose. This medicine may irritate these sensitive areas.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
- Skip the missed dose. Do not apply more of it to make up for the missed dose as it could result in severe irritation.
What possible side effects may it cause?
- Initially, you may experience peeling of the skin, with redness and even a mild stinging sensation. If bad irritation results, you may “step-down” the dosages, i.e. apply it less frequently.
- For acne treatment, after two to three weeks, your acne may sometimes seem to get worse. This is a normal reaction. If you continue using this medicine, you will notice improvement. The best results may be achieved after four to seven weeks of treatment.
If you notice severe irritation any time, stop this medication immediately and consult your doctor:
What precautions should I take?
- Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, intending to conceive or are breastfeeding.
- If used on the face, avoid washing your face too often, as this may cause excessive dryness and peeling. Washing with a mild soap two to three times a day is sufficient.
- Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, avoid using other “drying” preparations on the same treated areas to prevent severe irritations. These include abrasive soaps and cleansers, alcoholic preparations and medicated cosmetics or soaps. You should also avoid other acne preparations which contain peeling agents, for example benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol or sulphur.
- During initial treatment, the skin may be more susceptible to sunburn. If you cannot avoid exposure to too much sunlight, use a suitable sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and wear protective clothing over the treated areas.
- Light cosmetics may be applied over the sunscreen. However, in acne you should generally avoid using oily cosmetics.
- Inform your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to topical adapalene, isotretinoin or tretinoin.
How do I store this medicine?
- Keep this medicine away from heat and direct sunlight in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children.
When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
National Skin Centre (Singapore)
1 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308205