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HomeAnswersDermatologycontact dermatitisWill Epiduo gel cause skinburn?

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

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Rabia Anjum

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vinodhini J.

Published At January 3, 2020
Reviewed AtAugust 10, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am using a treatment for 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 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 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?

Answered by Dr. Rabia Anjum


Welcome to icliniq.com.

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 moisturizer 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.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Rabia Anjum
Dr. Rabia Anjum


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