Clindamycin For Acne: Use, Adverse Reactions & Contraindications

Clindamycin For Acne

What is clindamycin for acne?

Clindamycin is a bacteriostatic antibiotic, which is a semisynthetic analogue of the natural antibiotic lincomycin, and therefore belongs to the group of lincosamides. It acts with the 50S subunit of the ribosomal membrane and interferes with protein synthesis in bacterial cells. The antibiotic is especially effective against gram-positive bacteria, including staphylococci and propionibacteria. The suppression of the vital activity of these microorganisms leads to the treatment of acne and prevents the appearance of new rashes.

To get rid of acne, clindamycin is applied externally, and it can be both the main method of treatment and an addition to systemic treatment. In particular, positive results can be achieved when an antibiotic is combined with zinc, retinoids(derivatives of vitamin A) or benzoyl peroxide. However, it is important to note that clindamycin is not used concomitantly with another antibiotic such as erythromycin, as they nullify each other’s effects.

In any case, it is important to remember that, with respect to any antibiotics, bacteria develop resistance (resistance) over time, therefore, with a second course of treatment, it is unlikely that it will be possible to achieve complete cleansing of the skin from rashes. Therefore, it is necessary to achieve a cure from the first course of using the drug. Therefore, first of all, it is important to pass a skin scraping from a dermatologist to determine the flora (to detect the type of pathogen), and then start using the drug. Otherwise, you can start an existing process and make the bacteria resistant to treatment. Then it will take a long time and diligently to select the drug and it is not a fact that it will be possible to get rid of the rashes forever.

Clindamycin gels and rules for using acne

The antibiotic is not independently produced in a dosage form specifically designed for the treatment of acne, but it is an active component of a number of medicines that can be used for this purpose.


Gel “Dalacin” is an excellent antiseptic, which is available in a 30 ml tube and costs 650-800 rubles. It is used in the treatment of inflamed acne, acne and boils. Will not have the desired effect on comedones and blackheads.

The gel is applied in compliance with the following rules:

  • applied to previously cleansed dry skin 2-3 times a day, but it is imperative to avoid getting into the mucous membranes, especially the eyes;
  • after application, do not be exposed to sunbathing, otherwise freckles and age spots can be provoked;
  • can be applied immediately before leaving the house, since the gel is transparent and well absorbed into the skin;
  • on top of the gel, if necessary, you can apply a foundation or powder, however, during the treatment period, it is still worth abandoning decorative cosmetics;
  • when using the gel, make the following dietary restrictions – give up fatty and salty foods, sweets.

On average, the course of application of the gel is 2-3 weeks, but in some cases dermatologists prescribe long-term treatment up to 6 months.

Is Clindamycin cream used for acne?

2% Clindamycin cream is available in a tube of 20 and 40 g and has a cost of 400-500 rubles. It is a vaginal preparation that is used in the treatment of vaginal inflammation. The antibiotic inhibits the formation of proteins in bacterial cells, which are the cause of inflammation.

So, in the fight against acne and pimples on the face, 2% cream is not used, so the choice should be made in favor of 1% clindamycin gels.

Acne clindamycin solution

Zerkalin is a 1% alcoholic solution of clindamycin, which is available in a 30 ml bottle and costs 250-300 rubles. It is used in the treatment of inflammatory papules and pustules, purulent acne. It helps to relieve swelling and redness already in the first stages of treatment, and also covers inflammation with a crust and tightens them.

The solution is applied to cleansed dry skin 2 times a day – in the morning and in the evening, while getting into the mucous membranes should be avoided. There are three ways to apply the solution:

  • With a cotton pad. This recommendation is given by the manufacturer himself. Thus, a large concentration of the active substance is absorbed into the skin, although the solution is consumed faster. The antibiotic itself gets to the mouths of the hair follicles and acts on the ducts of the sebaceous glands affected by bacteria.
  • With a cotton swab. This is the best way if there are isolated inflammations on the skin.
  • With your fingertips. Since the bottle has a dropper, you can sparingly drip the solution onto your fingers and rub it into your skin.

It takes 20 minutes to absorb the solution. After this time, a moisturizing cream can be applied to the skin. It is not forbidden to use decorative cosmetics, although it is better to refrain from it.

The course of application of Zerkalin is at least 6-8 weeks. In severe cases, dermatologists prescribe treatment for 6-12 months. In this case, the best effects can be achieved if there is no addiction to the antibiotic.

Indications for the use of clindamycin

Clindamycin in an appropriate dosage form is indicated for the treatment of:

  • acne (acne vulgaris) Zerkalin (clindamycin solution for acne)
  • vaginosis and other diseases of the urogenital tract caused by microorganisms sensitive to clindamycin
  • pneumonia, lung abscess, pleural empyema, osteomyelitis, endometritis, adnexitis, purulent infections of the skin and soft tissues, wounds
  • peritonitis caused by microorganisms sensitive to clindamycin
  • infections caused by staphylococcus and other gram-positive bacteria resistant to penicillin – as a backup antimicrobial agent

In combination with aminoglycosides, clindamycin is used to prevent peritonitis and intra-abdominal abscesses after intestinal perforation or trauma.

Adverse Reactions

Regardless of the form of release, when applied externally, clindamycin in some cases can lead to negative reactions not only from the skin, but also from the subcutaneous fat. These reactions include:

  • dryness, irritation, swelling, and flaking of the skin
  • burning sensation and tooth
  • erythema
  • contact dermatitis
  • a burn on the area of ​​the skin where clindamycin was applied
  • increased production of the sebaceous glands
  • hives
  • Abdominal pain 
  • nausea and diarrhea  
  • dysbiosis 
  • Jaundice and liver dysfunction 
  • hyperbilirubinemia, agranulocytosis 
  • thrombocytopenia 
  • neuromuscular disorder
  • decrease in blood pressure
  • thrombophlebitis.

If the antibiotic gets on the mucous membranes, it will be accompanied by irritation, itching, burning sensation and swelling. There may be erythema in the eyelid area.

It is important to note that even with local application, clindamycin is absorbed into the bloodstream, therefore it can cause irritation of the digestive system, which may be accompanied by vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and colitis.


It is forbidden to use clindamycin in the fight against acne in case of antibiotic intolerance, as well as for the following indications:

  • return up to 12 years;
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • ulcerative or pseudomembranous colitis;
  • pregnancy;
  • lactation period (the drug can be absorbed into breast milk and enter the baby’s body).

So, clindamycin is an antibiotic from the group of lincosamides, which, when it gets on the hair follicles, interferes with the synthesis of protein in the cells of bacteria, the vital activity of which on the surface of the skin leads to pimples. So, gels and solutions are shown for use, the active component of which is clindamycin. Before treatment, it is worth contacting a dermatologist, because only he can prescribe the correct drug and determine the correct course of its use.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.