Topical Clindamycin Acne Treatment

external use Clindamycin is an antibiotic. It is used to treat inflammatory acne.

Oral forms of clindamycin are also sometimes used to treat acne. However, it is more commonly used as a topical treatment.

Topical clindamycin works by reducing the number of acne-causing bacteria. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. This helps pimples become less red and inflamed.

After starting this treatment, you will usually begin to see improvement in your skin within four to six weeks.

This article looks at topical clindamycin as an acne treatment. It also discusses how to use it and some possible side effects.

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Topical use of clindamycin

Topical clindamycin can be used to treat severe acne. It can also be used to treat stubborn but mild inflamed pimples.

Like oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics inhibit bacterial growth.

The main cause of acne is bacteria Propionibacterium acnes. Reducing the number of this bacteria can prevent outbreaks.

Clindamycin does not prevent clogged pores from forming. Clogged pores can also lead to the development of acne. In fact, topical clindamycin is not very effective when used alone.

Topical antibiotics alone are not the best way to treat acne. They work slowly compared to other topical acne treatments. If you use topical clindamycin with another acne treatment, you will increase its effectiveness.

Your dermatologist may prescribe another acne medication to use with topical clindamycin. This could be benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids.

You will get faster results if you use two acne medications. This will also help prevent drug-resistant bacteria from developing.

Use topical antibiotics for acne, wounds, and impetigo

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Topical clindamycin works better if you combine it with other drugs, such as benzoyl peroxide.


Clindamycin is sold under different brands. It is also called:

  • Cleocin-T
  • Klinda Max
  • Klinda-Dum
  • Klindagger
  • Klindalich
  • Klindtz
  • Evoclin
  • Z-Klinz

Clindamycin is also used in many combination acne medications. These medications are a mixture of two acne-fighting ingredients. Some of these include:

  • Acanya (clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide)
  • benzacrine (clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide)
  • Duac (clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide)
  • Ziana (clindamycin and tretinoin)

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Clindamycin has many different brand names. It is also used in combination with other medications to treat acne.

How to Use Clindamycin for Acne

Topical clindamycin comes in many forms. These include:

  • lotion
  • gel
  • Foam
  • medicated pads called absorbent cotton
  • Toner-like solutions

Your dermatologist will help you decide which form is right for you. The form you receive may also depend on the brand you are issuing it.

Different forms have different usage instructions. Most use it once or twice a day.

Topical clindamycin is simple to use. There are a few things you can do to ensure the best results.

Don’t just order individual acne treatments. Whichever form you use, apply it to the entire area affected by acne. For example, if you have acne on your face, apply it to your entire face, not just your existing blemishes. If you have breakouts on the chest, apply it to the entire chest.

Try to use your medicine at the same time each day. The time of day doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent. If you use the medicine in the morning, use it every morning. Ideally, it should be done at the same time every day. If you take the medicine twice a day, use the evening medicine 12 hours after the morning medicine.

Consistently. Do not apply it at different times of the day or skip days. Consistency is important when treating acne.


Your acne medication will work better if you are consistent about how and when to use it. Try wearing it at the same time every day. Cover the entire affected area, not just a single pimple.

Clindamycin side effects

All acne medications can cause side effects. Side effects of topical clindamycin are usually not serious. The most common include:

  • dry
  • flaky
  • Slight peeling of the skin

Your medicine may burn or sting slightly when used. You may also have some minor skin irritation. Serious side effects from topical antibiotics are very rare.

Topical clindamycin is fairly well tolerated by most people. Tell your doctor if the side effects make you uncomfortable or seem excessive. Painful burning, cracked skin, or severe redness should be brought to the attention of a doctor.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these very rare side effects:

  • severe headache
  • diarrhea
  • stomach cramps
  • Bloody stools


Topical clindamycin is an antibiotic used to treat severe acne. It works by reducing acne-causing bacteria. Works best when combined with other acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide.

Clindamycin has different brand names. It is also available as a combination medication. It comes in different forms such as lotion, gel and foam.

Be consistent when using your medication. Apply it to the affected area, not just a single pimple.

Side effects are usually mild. You may have dry or flaky. Call your doctor if you have more serious side effects, such as burning pain, headache, or stomach problems.

VigorTip words

Topical clindamycin is helpful in some cases of inflammatory acne. It can be used for teenagers and adults.

Clindamycin does not respond to treatment acne acne. This is a more typical type of acne that causes blackheads and pimples that aren’t inflamed.

If you have been prescribed topical clindamycin, use it exactly as your dermatologist tells you to.

It may take several weeks for you to see results. During the first few weeks of treatment, you may develop new pimples. Don’t let this discourage you. Continue to use your treatment.

Topical clindamycin is not suitable for everyone. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t worry. There are many other acne treatment options that can help you achieve clearer skin. Ask your doctor to help you find the right doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is clindamycin used for?

    Clindamycin is an antibiotic. It prevents bacterial growth. A dermatologist or other healthcare provider may prescribe a topical clindamycin cream to help clear acne-causing bacteria.

  • How long does it take for clindamycin to work?

    After you start using clindamycin, it may take four to six weeks for your skin to noticeably improve.

  • What are the side effects of clindamycin?

    Side effects may include:

    • dry, peeling skin
    • slight peeling
    • mild skin irritation
    • Slight burning sensation when taking the medicine

    Serious side effects are very rare. They may include:

    • severe headache
    • diarrhea
    • Bloody stools
    • Stomach cramps.

    If any of these occur, call your healthcare provider.