Is there any over the counter retinoid cream for milia in Singapore?
I started to notice what might be millia on my face, forehead, under the eyes… I read online that a retinoid cream might help prevent it from getting worse… Could you recommend a retinoid cream that I could get without a prescription?
Thank you for your question. Differin and Epiduo are the two retinoids available over the counter. Both used to be prescription only. Epiduo also has benzoyl peroxide in it which makes it suitable for pustular and nodular acne.
I would go with Differin if the intent is to prevent milia. However, do take note that Differin will not treat milia. Electrocautery or CO2 laser ablation are still needed for that and a regime of treatment and maintenance should be worked out by your doctor for best results.
Hope this helps and all the best.
Topical retinoid creams used to be prescription-only in Singapore. However, I recently chanced upon Differin and Epiduo being sold over-the-counter at Guardian pharmacy.
Quoting MIMs, it’s been available OTC in Singapore since 2016, in limited strengths:
“Exemptions granted for limited sale and supply without prescription (with effect from 31 March 2016): As a topical preparation not exceeding 0.1%”
Differin contains Adalapene (a retinoid), while Epiduo contains Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide – I’d go with Epiduo for both milia and acne.
The usual instructions, precautions and contraindications to using it applies – the pharmacist should advise you on this before prescribing.
The flip-side of not being followed up by a doctor is that he cannot advise you on the frequency and amount of use, as well as monitor for any hypersensitivity reactions.
As Dr Chua has alluded to, there will be a need to do ablative laser to settle the existing milia. Using appropriate skin products (non-oily) and some low dose Retinoids like Differin will be very helpful.
Here’s the best.