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What Is Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide Used For?

If you have acne and are over the age of 12, your healthcare provider may recommend the use of clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide. This medicated skin gel combines two active ingredients that work together to stop Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that contribute to acne. In some cases, this gel is prescribed "off-label" to treat acne in people under the age of 12.

An Overview of Uses for Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide

Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide (Acanya®, BenzaClin®, Duac®) is a combination prescription medication used to treat acne. It comes in the form of a gel that is applied to the skin once or twice a day.
Acne is a common skin condition that affects the oil glands and hair follicles. Hair follicles are canals that connect oil glands to the pores on the skin's surface. Acne occurs when these follicles get clogged with sebum (an oily substance secreted by the oil gland) and skin cells.
There are several different types of acne. For example, a blackhead occurs when a clogged follicle opens to the surface and darkens. Bacteria (known as Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes) may grow in the clogged follicle, leading to inflammation and pustules (pimples).
(Click Types of Acne to learn more about the different kinds of acne lesions.)
Acne is not a serious health concern, but it can be distressing. The condition can affect self-esteem and may cause embarrassment. In addition, persistent or severe acne can lead to permanent scarring if not treated.
The combination of clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide is just one of many different acne treatment options. It is applied to the skin, so it may be a good choice for people who do not want to take a pill or for people with acne that is not severe enough for oral treatment. It can be used alone or in combination with other acne medications (see Acne Treatment for more information).
A good acne skincare plan is an important addition to any acne treatment (see Acne Skin Care for more information on important steps to take when caring for your skin).
Your acne may get worse when you first start using this medicine. This is common with most acne treatments. It happens because there are acne lesions below the skin that need to come to the surface and heal. Once these lesions heal, your skin appearance will start to improve. Be patient and give the medication time to work.
If your acne does not improve within six to eight weeks, talk to your healthcare provider about whether this medicine is right for you.
(Click Acne to learn more about this condition, including causes and other possible treatments.)

Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide Information

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