Compare Differin vs. Aczone

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Differin (adapalene)

Prescription or OTC

Aczone (dapsone)

Prescription only
Treats acne.

Differin (adapalene) is commonly used for treating acne, but, it can cause skin irritation.

Treats acne.

Aczone (dapsone) is a highly safe and effective topical treatment for moderate to severe forms of acne, but may be expensive.

Upsides
  • Differin (adapalene) is a good option for the treatment of acne.
  • It is available as a cheaper, generic medication.
  • It only has to be applied to the skin once a day at bedtime.
  • The 0.1% gel formulation is available over the counter, without a prescription.
  • Differin (adapalene) is generally well tolerated, with few side effects.
  • Topical application is safe and easy.
  • Works well with minimal side effects.
  • Once or twice-daily dosing is available for administration that fits your schedule.
Downsides
  • Your skin may look worse before it starts looking better.
  • Differin (adapalene) can take up to 8 to 12 week to start working.
  • Aczone (dapsone) may not be right for you if you take certain medications or have certain blood conditions.
  • No generic available so it may be expensive.
  • Results may take up to 12 weeks to be noticed.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Lotion
  • Gel
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
5possible side effects
  • Skin dryness
    42%
  • Skin redness
    38%
  • Skin scaling
    35%
  • Persistent burning and stinging
    24%
  • Persistent itching
    21%
See more detailed side effects
15possible side effects
  • Application site reaction
    18%
  • Application site dryness
    16%
  • Mild skin dryness
    14%
  • Mild oiliness or peeling
    13%
  • Application site redness
    13%
  • Mild skin irritation
    9%
  • Moderate oiliness or peeling
    6%
  • Moderate skin irritation
    5%
  • Stuffy nose and throat
    5%
  • Headache
    4%
  • Moderate skin dryness
    3%
  • Head cold
    3%
  • Swollen sinuses
    2%
  • Throat swelling
    2%
  • Cough
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Local skin reactions
    • Soaps and cleansers with skin-drying effects
    • Products with high concentraions of alcohol, astringents, spices, or limes.
  • UV and sunlight exposure
  • Severe allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Low red blood cell count
    • G6PD deficiency
    • Congenital or Idiopathic methemoglobinemia
    • Other methemoglobin-inducing agents
  • Other effects on blood cells
    • G6PD deficiency/oral Dapsone
    • antimalarial medications
    • Bactrim
See more detailed risks and warnings