What are the Different Uses for Clindamycin and Benzoyl Peroxide Gel?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 30 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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Clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel is a type of topical antimicrobial medication. It combines clindamycin, an antibiotic, with benzoyl peroxide, which has antibacterial properties. The most common use for this topical gel is to treat acne, but it can be used to treat bacterial problems on the skin’s surface.

The combination of clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel is most commonly used to treat acne because of how the two medicines work. Clindamycin prevents bacteria from growing on the skin, which is one factor that causes acne. The benzoyl peroxide provides a drying effect to prevent the build up of dirt and oil.

This topical acne treatment is only available by prescription. Due to the drying effects, doctors may also prescribe a topical medicated moisturizer to use in conjunction with the clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel. If a medicated moisturizer is not prescribed right away, it may be prescribed if any of the common side effects are experienced.

Common side effects of this product are minimal and easily combated. Itchy areas, drying, peeling, or red patches of skin are most commonly experienced. These side effects can be relieved with regular use of a facial moisturizer. In some cases, a moisturizer will be prescribed along with the clindamycin treatment to be used as a preventative measure.


Rare side effects include diarrhea and stomach pain or cramps. If blood is present in the stools or changes to the nails or skin occurs, a doctor should be consulted. Any other side effects should be reported right away.

Immediate medical attention is necessary for serious side effects. An allergic reaction to the clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel requires emergency care. Signs of an allergic reaction include swelling of the lips or tongue, difficulty breathing, and a rash or hives. Experiencing these side effects and not seeking emergency medical care can be life threatening.

This gel should be applied to the affected areas twice a day. The face should be washed with warm water. Regular or abrasive soaps should not be used, and instead a mild facial cleanser is recommended. The face should be gently patted dry.

Clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel should not be used with other topical acne treatments, including erythromycin. Direct sunlight should be avoided because the gel can increase sensitivity. Contact with hair and clothing should be avoided because the gel has bleaching effects on these items. The prescribing physician should be aware of all medications, prescription or over the counter, to avoid drug interactions.



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