If you’re looking for a safe and effective over the counter treatment (OTC) that might help your acne, there’s a new option on the market! The FDA recently approved Differin Gel 0.1% (generic name adapalene) as the first new active ingredient for OTC acne treatments to be added to store aisles since the 1980s. Based on data from 5 clinical trials across a 20-year timespan in those with mild to moderate acne, the FDA found Differin Gel 0.1% to be safe, efficient, and easy for consumers to use in patients age 12 years and older.
Differin is the first in a class of drugs known as retinoids to be made available OTC for acne treatment. Topical retinoids work by unclogging the pores and, more importantly, preventing the formation of new clogs and new pimples in the future (more about topical retinoids). They also help reduce inflammation. Because of their success, dermatologists often recommend retinoids as a first-line treatment for all severities of acne either alone or in combination with other topical or oral medications.
“One of the best things about Differin is that it’s the first retinoid which is going over the counter, so now acne sufferers have a new potentially effective treatment to try,” says Dr. Hilary Baldwin, Medical Director of the Acne Treatment and Research Center. “However, patients should not self-diagnose,” Dr. Baldwin warns, “they should see a doctor first, but luckily their medicine might now be in the aisle as opposed to behind the pharmacy counter.” Because Differin may be more effective in combination with other medications, come talk to Dr. Baldwin or see your dermatologist to find the best combination for your acne type! Differin will be on shelves late January 2017.