Q. On using Epiduo for acne, my skin burnt terribly. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Rabia Anjum
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 02, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jan 06, 2020

Hi doctor,

I am using a treatment on my acne called Epiduo which was prescribed by my doctor. My skin has very bad hyperpigmentation and acne. I have been using the treatment for three days and on the second day it itched and burnt a little and I thought it was just working and all was fine. But on the third night I put it on and my skin began to burn terribly and it was unbearable. It blocked me from breathing and I nearly passed out. I did not wash it off because I found when I did that on the second night it made it worse and when I woke up today I had terrible chemical burns all over my face. My hyperpigmentation and acne had become worse and it is causing immense pain and discomfort and it really does look terrible it is similar to the worst kind of sunburn ever and the skin is plastered and dry too. I do not know what I can do? Is there some sort of treatment I can do in a cosmetic skin clinic? Or something I can use on the burns and the acne and the hyperpigmentation?



Welcome to

You have developed contact dermatitis to this Epiduo (Adapalene and Benzoyl peroxide) which you were using for treatment of acne. Now your skin has two problems. It needs to be treated in two steps.

First, we have to treat contact dermatitis. Do not use Epiduo now. Wash your face with mild soap and water. Take tablet Azithromycin 250 mg twice daily for the first three days then on alternate days for three weeks. Apply sunblock of SPF 60 (sun protection factor) from morning till evening. Use good moisturizer four to five times a day.

When your skin improves from this contact i.e. burned condition then, step two of treating acne and leftover pigmentation will be done

Probable diagnosis:

Contact dermatitis and acne vulgaris.

Treatment plan:

Apply a sunblock of spf 60. Take Azithromycin 250 mg bd for the first three days then on alternate days for three weeks. Apply moistuerzer four to five times a day.

Preventive measures:

Wash face with mild soap and water. Avoid using Dettol and other irritants. Avoid scratching or pricking up the leison.

Regarding follow up:

Follow up at three weeks.

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