Which topical acne medication should I apply first?

Doctor's Answers 2

Adalapene is a type of retinoid cream, which is very useful for it's anti-aging and anti-acne/anti-oily skin properties. You may wish to read this post on retinoid use that covers the proper way to apply it.

Retinoid creams are normally used at night, due to the fact that it can cause some photosensitivity (you should avoid the sun after applying it). They are also meant to be applied thinly, with only a pea-sized amount for your whole face, while avoiding your eyelids, corners of your mouth and lips.

On the other hand, Clindamycin is purely an anti-acne type of antibiotic gel, which is only meant to kill the acne-causing bacteria. You can apply this during the day time, and at areas where you tend to break out. My personal preference is Clindoxyl for acne spots, which also contains Benzoyl Peroxide, on top of Clindamycin.

Hope that helps!

Hi Sarah. You can go with either one since both are gels. As a rule, I recommend serums, creams, then gels in that order.

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Thanks for the detailed summary. There’s no problem at all with seeing a GP to treat your acne – the treatment algorithm for acne is pretty standard. My pet peeve is only with clinics who overcharge based on having some sort of special super secret ingredient “miracle acne creams”, because the reality is that all effective topical creams contain well-known ingredients, and packaging it under their own brand shouldn’t give them the right to charge more, or “lock-in” patients to only using their creams.

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Should I request for a higher dose of Isotretinoin if I am on a low dose regime?

Pertaining to your isotretinoin dose, your dermatologist has done absolutely the right thing. I wouldn’t consider 30 mg low by any means. 10 – 15 mg is what’s normally considered to be in the “low range”. Even if you “shopped” around for a different doctor, I don’t think their dosage advice would differ too much from your dermatologist. Besides, it’s still relatively early days. 2 months in, and you are responding and improving. If I were you, I’d stick, rather than twist with the dose.

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