Acne treatment sometimes offers little but frustration. If you've got a bad complexion due to pimples, you may have tried a series of products, both over-the-counter treatments and prescription remedies. Dermatologists find that the best approach in acne treatment often combines products. Epiduo, a prescription gel which blends two different active ingredients offers such an approach.
Combination products often work well against acne because acne results from a combination of three different factors. According to the Cleveland Clinic, acne develops when your sebaceous glands produce too much oil. But you also need skin irritation to develop pimples, and that results from irregular shedding of skin cells. Bacterial infection rounds out the causes of acne.
Epiduo gel contains the active ingredients benzoyl peroxide and adapalene, according to the website Drugs.com. Benzoyl peroxide fights the bacteria that worsens acne and also can provide a mild drying effect, helping to rid your skin of excess oil. Vitamin A derivative adapalene, meanwhile, works to correct the irregular skin cell shedding that's irritating your skin and clogging your pores.
If your physician prescribes Epiduo to treat your acne, you should use it exactly as directed, which usually means once per day, according to Drugs.com. You also should avoid using other medicated skin products, such as additional acne medications, while you're using Epiduo. Within the first month of treatment, your skin may appear red, flaky or dry, which are normal side effects. You may also experience some itching, burning or stinging.
Epiduo appears to work well in acne treatment. A study reported in the January/February edition of the medical journal "Skinmed," looked at Epiduo treatment in 91 patients with mild to moderate acne. According to the study, led by Dr. Patricia A. Troielli, a dermatologist at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, inflammatory acne lesions had fallen by 80 percent and non-inflammatory acne lesions dropped by nearly 70 percent by the end of 12 weeks of treatment. In addition, two-thirds of patients had seen nearly all of their acne lesions clear by the study's end.
Epiduo reviewers on the website Acne.org give Epiduo mainly positive reviews. Many said Epiduo worked quickly to begin clearing their acne, but some noted that the side effects -- specifically stinging and burning -- bothered them significantly. Epiduo costs about $35 for the first month's supply with a coupon from the manufacturer's website, but costs significantly more without the coupon as of 2010. Because it is a prescription medication, your health insurance may cover it.