We understand that having acne may be frustrating and that you want treatment that works quickly and effectively. Epiduo is a topical ointment used in the treatment of moderate to severe acne.
Don’t just put up with your acne symptoms – almost a third of those who try Epiduo see their symptoms disappear completely.
45 g - £35.00
- Epiduo clears, on average, 56% of the symptoms of acne in people who use it
- Almost completely or completely clears the symptoms of acne in 28% of people who use it
How to use Epiduo
We recommend using Epiduo as follows:
- Wash your hands
- Clean your face with your normal facial wash and pat dry with a towel
- Apply a thin film of gel evenly over the areas of skin that are affected by acne once a day. The manufacturer advises that you apply Epiduo at bedtime, Make sure that Epiduo does not get into your eyes, nostrils, or mouth. If this happens, wash the area with plenty of warm water
- Make sure that Epiduo does not get into your hair or clothing as it may bleach them. Wash your hands immediately after you apply Epiduo
Common side effects
- Dry skin
- Skin rash on the areas that you apply Epiduo
- Redness, irritation, or burning sensation on the skin
Epiduo is made of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, which are two medicines which are proven to help with symptoms of acne. Adapalene is related to vitamin A, which works on the skin processes that causes acne, whereas benzoyl peroxide helps kill some of the bacteria which may cause acne.
There are several different symptoms that are all associated under the umbrella of acne, and Epiduo works on each symptom differently:
Does Epiduo stop working after a while? – you may have experienced some acne treatments that seem to become less effective the longer that you use them. Long-term studies have found that Epiduo does not stop working over time. This is because Epiduo is made up of a retinoid (which targets the normal growth of skin cells) and a peroxide (which disinfects your skin). Treatments which seem to stop working over time are usually topical antibiotics, and this happens as the bacteria on your skin gets used to the medicines (resistance). Antibaterial acne treatments include:
If you have acne and you want treatment, you can use our online consultation system to receive this medication:
- Fill out an online questionnaire that normally takes a few minutes to complete:
- You will be asked to upload two photos to make sure that Epiduo is a suitable treatment for you
- You will also be asked questions about your general health and medications that you may be taking to make sure that Epiduo is safe for you
- A doctor will review your questionnaire and photos and prescribe you Epiduo if appropriate
- Your prescription of Epiduo will be delivered by post
Alternatively, you can see your GP and ask about getting a prescription of Epiduo. If the GP prescribes it to you, you can then go to your local pharmacy to receive your medication.
Over-the-counter options – you need a prescription to get Epiduo. However, if you are looking for an over-the-counter alternative, you can buy the separate medicines that is combined to make Epiduo. These medicines are:
- Benzoyl peroxide – available over-the-counter
- Adapalene – not available over-the-counter. However, Adapalene is part of a family of medicines called retinoids, some of which can be bought without a prescription
Some retinoids potentially become deactivated when mixed with benzoyl peroxide so it is worth considering applying these two medicines at different times of the day. For example, you could apply the benzoyl peroxide in the morning and the retinoid before bed.
You may want to apply a small amount of gel to a clear area of skin for 24 hours to see whether you develop a reaction. Avoid putting Epiduo on areas of the skin where you have cuts, scrapes, or eczema as these areas may become much more irritated.
How do I know if I have the right strength? – if you feel that the effects of Epiduo is too strong or too weak, talk to a doctor or pharmacist. It is best to apply a thin film of Epiduo to your skin once a day. Applying a thicker layer of Epiduo or applying it more than once a day will not clear up your acne quicker, but may irritate your skin.
If you experience irritation to your skin, you could:
- Apply a moisturiser after you apply Epiduo on your skin and waiting for it to dry
- Use epiduo less often, for example every other day
- Take a short break from using Epiduo
Using makeup or moisturisers too – It is best to avoid using Epiduo with cosmetics that irritate your skin. You may be used to using cosmetics to cover up the appearance of spots. In this case, we recommend that you apply Epiduo first, wait for it to dry, and then apply any moisturisers and cosmetics that are not irritating to your skin. Another option is to take Epiduo at bedtime, and then use your cosmetics in the morning as normal.
If you forget to take your Epiduo – just take the next dose as normal. Do not apply more Epiduo to make up for a missed dose.
If you prefer not to use our online consultation tool or see a GP, there are over-the-counter alternatives to Epiduo such as benzoyl peroxide.
There are many myths about acne, and it is important to know which lifestyle habits can help the symptoms of acne and which lifestyle habits can make the symptoms worse:
- Acne is not caused by poor hygiene – there is no evidence that symptoms of acne are improved by cleaning your skin, and cleaning too often or too vigorously can actually irritate your skin and make symptoms of acne worse. We recommend that if you have acne, you do not wash your face more often than twice a day. Lukewarm water is best, as water that is too hot or cold can irritate the skin
- Diet has very little effect on acne – however, if you notice that some foods do make your acne worse it is a good idea to avoid them and see if things improve
- Picking at acne does not improve them – it increases the risk of scarring, so we recommend that you try not to pick your acne to ‘clean’ blackheads
- Acne is not infectious – the bacteria that cause acne normally already live on people’s skin, so you cannot pass acne on to other people
- Sunlight has little benefit on acne – there is no evidence that actively sunbathing improves the symptoms of acne. It is always a good idea to wear sunscreen when you think you might be exposed to the sun
Some people find that they experience side effects when they are using Epiduo.
Side effects are normally temporary – some people find that the side effects are worst in the first weeks after they start using Epiduo. After the skin gets used to the medicine, the side effects seem to settle down. If you find that you can’t stand the side effects of Epiduo or that it doesn’t settle down after the first few weeks, you could try using a moisturiser on the skin to soothe the irritation. Alternatively, you can try taking it every other day, or having short breaks in treatment.
The manufacturer does not recommend using Epiduo when you are pregnant because there is very little evidence on the safety and the effectiveness of Epiduo in pregnant women. A woman who becomes pregnant whilst using Epiduo should stop using it immediately.
Epiduo can cause bleaching of hair and clothing – to avoid this, you should try to prevent Epiduo getting on your hair and clothes when applying on your skin, washing your hands immediately afterwards, and making sure the Epiduo has dried if you are going to wear clothes over the skin where you have applied Epiduo.
If you accidentally swallow some Epiduo, you should seek medical assistance. In the meantime, wash your mouth out with plenty of water but do not try to make yourself vomit.
If, immediately after you apply Epiduo, you experience symptoms such as:
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Swelling of the lips and tongue
- Sudden redness and feeling hot in the hands and feet
This might be a sign that you are having a severe allergic reaction to the medication. You should call 999 or get to your nearest Accident & Emergency department.