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Topical Acne Preparations

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Topical Acne Preparations Topical Acne Preparations Adult

Topical Acne Preparations - What is it for

​Your doctor has prescribed one of the following medications for you to treat acne:

Topical Antibiotics

  • Erythromycin
  • Clindamycin
  • Clindamycin with benzoyl peroxide

These medications work by killing the bacteria that cause acne.

Other Topical Acne Preparations

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Resorcinol / Sulphur
  • Azelaic acid
  • Salicylic acid

These medications work by removing the dead skin cells (exfoliating) and clearing blocked pores. Benzoyl peroxide can also help to kill the bacteria that cause acne. 

This medication may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Topical Acne Preparations - Additional Information

  • ​Avoid washing your face too often as this may increase the drying-out effect of your topical acne preparation. Wash your face 2 to 3 times a day only.
  • Avoid applying heavy make-up and using oily cosmetics. It is recommended to choose make-up products with non-oily formulas.
  • Avoid staying directly under sunlight for long durations. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen product with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 and wear protective clothing when you are exposed to direct sunlight.
  • These medications do not work immediately. You may need to apply the medication for a few weeks to see an improvement in you condition.    
  • Updated on Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

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