Differin cream & gel

Differin cream and gel are topical preparations containing retinoid (adapalene 0.1%) and are used to treat acne as part of a treatment plan.

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Differin cream & gel

Differin cream & gel

Prescription fees

Medicinesbymailbox supplies medicine on prescription and charges a small prescription fee based on the order value of each prescription.Prescriptions are issued by our doctors online and sent electronically to our pharmacy.If you have your own private paper prescription please post to our pharmacy (details).

Order value Prescription fee
Any Order Value £0.00

Differin cream and gel product information

Differin is a topical treatment for acne with an active ingredient called adapalene. Adapalene is a type of retinoid which is anti-inflammatory, thus reducing redness and irritation from acne. Differin is supplied in the UK by the pharmaceutical company Galderma.

How to use

Differin can be applied thinly to dry skin once daily. It should be applied in the evenings, to areas of the face, back and chest affected by acne. Wash your hands after application.

Treatment duration

Treatment with Differin should be continued for at least 8 weeks. It is important that you continue using it even if you feel that it is not working. If after 8 weeks there is no improvement, treatment should be stopped or other types of treatment added.

Treatment should be reviewed by your doctor after 3 months, and if acne has cleared Differin can be stopped. Acne may not return, but if it does treatment can be started again.

Side effects of Differin

Side effects of Differin are normally localised (on the skin), although not everyone gets them. Dryness, soreness, redness and inflammation of the skin are common, especially at the start treatment. Frequency of treatment can be reduced to every other day until the skin is adjusted to the medication before stepping up to normal treatment dose, but should be stopped if there is marked inflammation or intense burning on the skin.

As very little of the medicine actually gets absorbed from the skin into the circulation, general side effects are unlikely.

Using Differin more frequently does not increase its effectiveness, but you may get peeling and irritated skin.

Differin can increase skin's sensitivity to sunlight so use of sunscreen with a high sun protection factor is recommended. 


Differin is for topical use only. Avoid contact with mouth and eyes. If accidentally ingested contact a doctor straight away.

Pregnant women should avoid using Differin. It can be used by breast feeding-women, but application to the chest area should be avoided to avoid exposure to infant.

Other acne treatments

Differin may be used with topical preparations containing antibiotics such as clindamycin (Dalacin T and Duac) or erythromycin (Zineryt). It can also be used with benzoyl peroxide topical medicine (non-prescription).

Differin should not be used at the same time with other topical retinoids, e.g. Isotrex.

Alternative topical retinoids medication such as Isotrex and other acne treatments are also available from Medicinesbymailbox Pharmacy.

Patient information leaflets – Differin

The 'Patient Information Leaflet' supplied with treatment must be read before use.