Differin Cream

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 9/13/2021
Differin Cream Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Differin Cream?

Differin (adapalene) Cream, 0.1% is a retinoid indicated for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris.

What Are Side Effects of Differin Cream?

Common side effects of Differin Cream include:

  • skin redness
  • scaling
  • dryness
  • itching
  • burning
  • stinging, or
  • irritation

Dosage for Differin Cream

Differin Cream should be applied to affected areas of the skin, once daily at nighttime. A thin film dose of the cream should be applied to the skin areas where acne lesions appear, using enough to cover the entire affected areas lightly.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Differin Cream?

Differin Cream may interact with other potentially irritating topical products (medicated or abrasive soaps and cleansers, soaps and cosmetics that have a strong drying effect, and products with high concentrations of alcohol, astringents, spices or lime rind), and preparations containing sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Differin Cream During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, Differin Cream should be used only if prescribed. It is unknown If Differin Cream passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Differin (adapalene) Cream, 0.1% Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Acne is the result of an allergy. See Answer
Differin Cream Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching; chest pain, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • skin redness, stinging, burning, or peeling after sun exposure.

Some side effects may occur during the first 4 weeks of using this medicine. These side effects should become less noticeable with continued use.

Common side effects may include:

  • dry, red, or scaly skin;
  • feeling of warmth and mild stinging or burning;
  • peeling skin; or
  • skin pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Differin Cream (Adapalene Cream)


Skin Health: 15 Tips for Clear Skin See Slideshow
Differin Cream Professional Information


In controlled clinical trials, local cutaneous irritation was monitored in 285 acne patients who used DIFFERIN® Cream once daily for 12 weeks. The frequency and severity of erythema, scaling, dryness, pruritus and burning were assessed during these studies. The incidence of local cutaneous irritation with DIFFERIN® Cream from the controlled clinical studies is provided in the following table:

Incidence of Local Cutaneous Irritation with DIFFERIN® Cream from Controlled Clinical Studies (N=285)
  None Mild Moderate Severe
Erythema 52% (148) 38% (108) 10% (28) < 1% (1)
Scaling 58% (166) 35% (100) 6% (18) < 1% (1)
Dryness 48% (136) 42% (121) 9% (26) < 1 % (2)
Pruritus (persistent) 74% (211) 21% (61) 4% (12) < 1 % (1)
Burning/Stinging (persistent) 71% (202) 24% (69) 4% (12) < 1% (2)

Other reported local cutaneous adverse events in patients who used DIFFERIN® Cream once daily included: sunburn (2%), skin discomfort-burning and stinging (1%) and skin irritation (1%). Events occurring in less than 1% of patients treated with DIFFERIN® Cream included: acne flare, dermatitis and contact dermatitis, eyelid edema, conjunctivitis, erythema, pruritus, skin discoloration, rash, and eczema.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Differin Cream (Adapalene Cream)

© Differin Cream Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Differin Cream Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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