Clindamycin is an acne treatment that has been used for many years. In fact, a large percentage of patients that we meet with at the Clear Clinic have tried Clindamycin in the past. When used as part of a comprehensive acne regimen, Clindamycin is an effective and easy-to-use topical acne medication.
Dr. Schweiger explains that, “Clindamycin is an antibiotic that is commonly used in topical formulations for the treatment of acne. Clindamycin targets the p. acnes bacteria, which is the bacteria on your skin that leads to the development of acne. By killing the p. acnes bacteria, Clindamycin prevents the development of inflammatory acne lesions. One nice feature of Clindamycin is that it is most often very well-tolerated; it does not cause the dryness and irritation that we see with some other acne medications.”
Clindamycin works best when combined with another topical medication, such as benzoyl peroxide (commonly prescribed brands include Duac, Benzaclin, and Acanya) or tretinoin (brand names include Veltin and Ziana.) The combination medications including Clindamycin offer a more effective treatment for acne than Clindamycin alone. Additionally, these formulations prevent the p. acnes bacteria from becoming resistant to Clindamycin. Examples of formulations of Clindamycin alone include Clindamycin lotion, Clindamycin gel, Clindamycin pledgets, and Clindareach.
Most formulations of Clindamycin should be applied 1-2 times daily. Your dermatologist will give you specific instructions for use of Clindamycin when you are first prescribed the medication. Clindamycin is only available by prescription; it is not available in over-the-counter formulations.