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Differin Skin Rash

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I’m have the same issue with Differin .3 .  I just stared my regime a week ago and have delevoped this red sunburn like rash on my neck. It is hot and itchy. I cannot put anything on it that provides relief for a long period of time. I have NEVER applied Differin to my neck. I am going to stop using this until my neck heals and maybe try again every other day or 2. If it happens again, I’m trashing it. 

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I started using Differin a few weeks ago and have developed a severe skin rash on my chest and neck. As others mentioned, I did not use the product on my chest. Finding this post makes me wonder if I am having a reaction to the product. I noticed this post dates back to 2008 with a few post over the past several years. I hope everyone has or will make a complete recovery. The rash is very uncomfortable and I hope it will clear up soon. Good luck to all.

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This is so crazy! This is all very validating. I have been wondering about this mysterious neck/chin/chest rash for SO long!

I have sensitive skin & get hives & am allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide. 

I got this angry red painful itching burning rash on my neck & underneath my chin for the first time a few years ago after I started using Retin-A. It was so horrible! It felt like it was on fire! It would even wake me up in the middle of the night. A dermatologist said it was fungal; wash with anti-fungal & use hydrocortisone cream. The rash lasted about 3 weeks, migrated from my neck down to my chest, and then went away. 

I got it again about 4-6 months later and tried to treat it as a fungal thing like before. It only seemed to get worse. Torture!!! I tried to treat it as an allergy. I couldn’t figure out what I was eating or doing differently than normal that was causing it. After about 3 weeks it went away again. Showed pics & described it to an allergist. He was absolutely stumped.

4-6 months later, same thing! Tried to treat as an allergy again, only got worse. It was still a mystery! Saw a primary care doctor & he had no clue but said probably just irritation; keep it clean & dry & leave it alone. “Don’t put anything on it,” he said. Thought maybe it was related to stress; tried to relax and leave it alone and that helped; it went away again. 

Fast forward to this past August when my insurance decided not to cover Retin-A anymore. I stopped using it. Guess what? No rash for the following 8 months! Until...

I started to use Differin very recently because my acne returned, & within two weeks of use I felt & noticed the hot itching burning rash beginning again. I was pissed! I thought, what is the only thing that I recently started again that I was doing before...retinol cream! It finally clicked! I stopped using the Differin on my neck and have avoided all creams & it seems like it’s going away before it even really began. Fingers crossed! I decided to see if my idea had any merit & googled it and found this thread! Amazing! Thank you all for sharing your stories! I feel so validated finally!

I’m not fully giving up on Differin yet though. I might see if only using Differin every other night, and only on my face, will help me avoid this in the future. At least I know what it is now!!! Lots of luck to us all!






Edited by Cea891
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I had to sign up just to reply to this topic, as this SAME neck rash showed up, along with a painful itchy face that felt like I was doused in battery acid, woke me up in the middle of the night about a week into using it. Despite me expressing that to a dermatologist, they said this can happen when you first start the Differin gel, and that if you start using a super mild face wash and give it a day or two off, your skin gets used to it. Basically to push through. So very much against my better instincts to throw it in the garbage, I gave it three days off and started washing my face with only Cetaphil. For about five days to a week it seemed dry and patchy, still with some acne (is been on Clindamyacin prior which worked absolute wonders and I loved but it bleached your clothes and sheets which was slightly frustrating).....low and behold I go on a nice little day date to the beach where it’s slightly sunny. I return home with a burning red rash on my neck again. I know for certain it’s the Differin. I really truly hope it hasn’t elicited a permanent systemic reaction. I have rosacea which makes my face skin difficult to deal with, as it gets red and sensitive easily but I get acne too. 


Long story short, I recommend anyone who is thinking about “pushing through” early signs of this rash to completely DISCONTINUE. I’m throwing mine in the garbage right now. I’m giving it a couple days and going back to my beloved Clindamyacin and hoping to god my skin hasn’t been permanently changed. For those who’ve experienced continued distress to their skin I truly feel for you. It’s always been my case having rosacea, and it’s a terrible feeling. I’m so glad for those brave enough to share their story, because after finding this I realize I’m not crazy, a NECK rash can come from a FACE cream, and a prescription does not always mean “SAFE”. Thank you all for sharing. Knowledge is Power.  


Edited by Caitlin2019
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Take some benedryl, zyrtek or claritin immediately... hydro-cortisone or benedryl cream will help take itch and inflammation down. Your dermatologist should have known that you're having an allergic reaction... that's not a rash..it's hives!

Last year, I started getting severe chronic hives on my neck, chest and under breasts and had to eliminate all soaps with fragrance and harsh ingredients and certain foods of coarse stopped breaking out in hives. Went through all kinds of allergy testing but finally assumed it was my autoimmune disease.  When I reintroduced a face wash with benzyl peroxide for my mild adult acne... bam... finally discovered that's what I had suddenly become allergic to. Broke out 2x times after that, with hives all over my neck and chest after I used the wash. So I stopped using all together, haven't had 1 hive since! Guarantee it's you benzyl peroxide product. Stop using it and I bet will clear. Take an allergy pill. 

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558094CF-15C3-4DFD-9732-72B9E57AC484.jpeg.4e506830991012c03c0229c0241f6c24.jpegI have the same rash on my neck after using Differin adapalene with the Benzoyl cleanser for two and a half weeks. :( It’s painful, itchy and uncomfortable as hell. The combo was kind of working for my cystic acne so I’m pretty bummed out but I’m not gonna risk permanent damage to me skin. The weirdest part is that I don’t use it on my neck at all, just my face. 


Edited by emac87
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I'm just sharing my experience with Epiduo.

I've been doing endless research about this product online through Dr Dray, transformation and many other sources. Epiduo consist of 0.1% Adapalene and 0.1% Benzol Peroxide. Apparently it's an over the counter product without a prescription required in my country ( Vietnam).

 So I've started using Epiduo on the 1/7/2020 and 12 days later things took turn for the worse. For the first few days using Epiduo, my skin actually cleared up. After day 4 I had more pimples but as expected , it get worse before it get better so I continued with Epiduo once a day at night. It actually dry out the pimple and improve faster. On the 12 days, after a session at the gym, my neck skin feels like a rash and it has tingling sensation like sunburn. I quickly had a shower and realise I had this massive line of rash on my shoulder/chest. I immediately stopped using Epiduo and proceed to search for an answer and I'm glad I found this forum. I've spoken to multiple dermatologists but they don't seem to have a clue about the connection of Epiduo and neck/ chest skin rash.

It's been 4 days after I stopped using the product. My neck skin feels like shark skin or fine grit sand paper. It's fine when its dry and cool, but if I sweat or wet it, it gets irritate and itch.

Personally I think it's the adapalene in the gel because I've used benzoyl peroxide in the past and did not have any problem. 

Overall, this product actually help with the pimples but the side effect is really bad. You don't really know if your skin will react. It's like a 50-50 % chance and whether you are willing to take the risk. But for this product no one really talk about the side effect until people actually ran into it. Especially when apply to the face but got rashes on the neck and chest.

I wish I've found this forum before started using Epiduo but oh well what can we do. I'm currently taking a different path to treat my acne and it works.

I just created this account to share my experience with people who might have come across this problem to find out what happened to their skin.



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I've been using Differin with  0.1% Adapalene nightly for the past 4 weeks with the normal reactions. However, last night I noticed that I had slight redness but brushed it off thinking it was a scratch. Today, the rash is more apparent with small bumps, but its not itchy or painful. I never used Differin on my neck, only my usual lotion. 


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