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What are the Most Common Uses for Erythromycin and Benzoyl Peroxide?

Article Details
  • Written By: M. West
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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The most common use of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide is in treating serious cases of acne. Erythromycin is an antibiotic, and benzoyl peroxide is a peeling and drying agent. This medication's means of action involves killing the acne producing bacteria and maintaining cleanliness of the pores. A physician's prescription might be needed for someone to receive this treatment.

Before starting this medicine, the doctor should be appraised of all the patient's medications, because it has the potential to interact adversely with many drugs. Also, the physician should be given a comprehensive list of all known allergies, including food, animals or preservatives. Patients should abstain from using this cream on sunburned or irritated skin and avoid using it on a wound, because it will exacerbate the condition. This drug's safety for use during pregnancy or lactation is unknown, so a healthcare practitioner should be consulted before it is taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Patients should use the erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide medication only as directed. The amount, frequency or duration of the dose should not be increased. Failure to strictly follow the directions can lead to skin irritations. One should exercise caution to ensure that the medicine does not come into contact with the mouth, nose, eyes or open scratches on the skin. If this accidentally happens, it area should be immediately rinsed with water.

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Before and after applying the acne treatment, the user should wash his or her hands. He or she should gently clean the acne affected area with a mild soap before applying these medications. The area should then be rinsed with water and dried. The acne area should be covered with a small amount of the cream.

The erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide treatment might cause diarrhea. Patients should notify their doctor if this happens. Anti-diarrhea medicine should not be taken except under the direction of a doctor, because certain drugs will only make the condition worse.

A sunscreen is recommended when the user is outdoors, because this acne medicine can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight. If a person experiences signs of an allergic reaction such as swelling, shortness of breath or closing of the throat, he or she should get emergency medical treatment. Users might experience a mild burning sensation for a few minutes following application of the cream. If the irritation is prolonged, he or she should check with a physician in case the dose of the acne treatment needs to be reduced.

If an additional medication has been proscribed, its application should be delayed until one hour after the erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide are applied. A doctor should be consulted if an improvement in acne isn't noted within three to four weeks. Eight to 12 weeks' application might be required before full elimination of the acne is observed.

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