Medically reviewed by Dena Westphalen, Pharm.D. — written by Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA on October 28, 2020

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Clindamycin is a object antibiotic the doctors might prescribe come treat acne.

According to the American Academy that Dermatology, clindamycin is a first-line acne treatment for mild to moderate acne. However, you commonly won’t usage it together your only acne treatment.

Could clindamycin occupational for you? Keep reading to uncover out exactly how clindamycin works and how to usage it.

Clindamycin is an antibiotic the kills certain types of bacteria or stop them indigenous growing.

Doctors might prescribe this to death Propionibacterium acnes (P. Acnes) bacteria that can lead come pimples. If P. Acnes bacteria normally live ~ above the skin, they deserve to invade pores and also cause inflammation the leads come acne.

According to a 2019 research study review, medical professionals still aren’t sure why P. Acnes leader to the exaggerated in some and also not others. This is among the reasons medical professionals prescribe antibiotics favor clindamycin with other treatments.

Who’s a an excellent candidate because that clindamycin for acne?

Doctors will commonly recommend using several various treatments to target specific acne types.

For example, doctors may prescribe clindamycin come treat mild to moderate acne, but not usually to treat serious acne forms.

Doctors might treat major acne with dental antibiotics rather of subject ones.

Does clindamycin for acne actually work?

If you have actually the type of acne the clindamycin is great for, your doctor will commonly recommend the following combination of treatments:

topical antibiotics, such together erythromycin or clindamycin

Your doctor might recommend making use of benzoyl peroxide and a topical antibiotic, or a topical retinoid and also a object antibiotic. There are several alternatives of combinations, and also they count upon what acne species you have.

Several researches exist to support these combinations or the use of object clindamycin.

Topical 1 percent clindamycin was shown to mitigate acne in world with moderate inflammatory acne ~ 8 main of twice daily treatment, according to a 2013 study.

Another 2019 study discovered that applying a mix of clindamycin and tretinoin (a retinoid) for 12 weeks aided reduce the illustration of acne v minimal next effects.

How carry out I usage clindamycin because that acne?

Your doctor will prescribe topical clindamycin, commonly for twice everyday application. Different preparations space available.

Some preparations, favor topical foams, might contain alcohol and sting or burn when used to the skin. You’ll usually use the foam to a cleansed confront with clean hand to all areas where you endure acne blemishes.

Don’t discontinue utilizing clindamycin if you begin to check out results. Completing a complete course the antibiotics ensures that the clindamycin death off many of the bacteria. Avoiding too beforehand can boost your danger for antibiotic resistance.

Doctors typically intend for antibiotics choose clindamycin to be used as shorter-term treatments. You will do it usually apply them for 3 to 4 months along with benzoyl peroxide, and also sometimes a retinoid together well.

After this time, your doctor might recommend that you protect against using subject clindamycin however continue using various other topical preparations, such together benzoyl peroxide or retinoids.

Is clindamycin because that acne safe?

Doctors typically associate object clindamycin with minimal next effects.

Most the the time, if you have actually a reaction come the object application, you deserve to either apply less of the clindamycin or discontinue the use.

Topical clindamycin is a Pregnancy group B drug. This method it’s mostly safe for use throughout pregnancy. Research hasn’t revealed that harmful during pregnancy.

But you should always talk to her doctor about all topical and prescription medications you’re acquisition to certain they’re safe throughout your pregnancy.

Are there any risks or side results with clindamycin for acne?

As with many medications, you have the right to experience side effects from the topical application of clindamycin. This can encompass an allergy reaction or hypersensitivity.

You have the right to experience swelling, itching, or hives because of an allergy reaction. If girlfriend think you’re having actually an allergy reaction to topical clindamycin, discontinue utilizing it and also notify your doctor.

Other potential side results include:


You can additionally develop antibiotic resistance come topical clindamycin. If you suffer a skin infection later on on, antibiotic resistance can mean object clindamycin may not help the infection.

That’s why your doctor will normally prescribe clindamycin for the shortest however most effective amount the time possible.

Are there options to clindamycin for acne?

Several alternatives to clindamycin exist.

If you have actually mild to moderate acne, your doctor may either prescribe clindamycin or erythromycin, one more antibiotic.

If you have actually acne called comedonal acne (mostly blackheads or whiteheads), her doctor might recommend using a subject retinoid. Retinoids help encourage skin cabinet turnover and also break increase excess oil that deserve to clog pores.

Topical antibiotics (and the combinations your doctor recommends) might not constantly be enough to law acne blemishes. In this case, her doctor may prescribe dental antibiotics, such as doxycycline and minocycline.

When need to you check out a doctor?

If you have acne the over-the-counter assets aren’t controlling well, consider talking with a dermatologist.

Your dermatologist will certainly ask girlfriend questions about your present skin care routine, study your skin, and make therapy recommendations. This may include the use of object clindamycin.

The takeaway

Topical or oral antibiotics may assist reduce acne. Clindamycin is a frequently prescribed topical medication to law acne, and you deserve to usually use it v minimal next effects.

Ideally, you have the right to use it for a short amount that time (about 3 months) in mix with other acne therapies to experience a reduction in your acne’s appearance.

critical medically the evaluation on October 28, 2020


Medically reviewed by Dena Westphalen, Pharm.D. — created by Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA on October 28, 2020

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