This Is A Massive Game-Changer If You Have Acne

Photographed by Collins Nai.
If you suffer from acne, you likely know the treatment hurdles you're forced to navigate. From topical products to cortisone shots all the way to Accutane, the road to perfect skin is often long and arduous. (Don't even get us started on the acne scars you have to deal with once you're in the clear.) Well, the FDA just signed off on a new treatment that could help soothe some of your dermal distress. And soon, you could get it at the drugstore.

Many of you are probably familiar with topical retinoids. They help unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and are a staple treatment for those with acne. But they've solely been available by prescription, until today. Just this morning, the FDA approved Differin 0.1% (adapalene), a once-daily over-the-counter topical gel. As a statement from the agency outlines, the product was originally approved in 1996 as a prescription and contains the first new active ingredient for OTC acne treatment since the 1980s. The gel was tested during five clinical trials on people with mild to moderate acne, and they gave it the thumbs-up.

"Unlike its cousin retinol, the topical retinoid adapalene has proven clinical efficacy in treating acne," dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, explains. "Now available over the counter, it will significantly add to the currently available acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur." He adds that, in addition to being effective for all forms of acne, it's a useful treatment for blackheads, whiteheads, and could even be beneficial in the anti-aging department.

Even though the Differin gel is now readily available to anyone wanting to get their hands on it, we still advise you to consult with your doctor before picking up a tube — especially if you're already using other treatments. And, as the statement warns, if you're pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast-feeding, you should be especially vigilant and contact a medical professional beforehand.

The grown-up guide to dealing with acne. Read more from The Acne Diaries here.
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