How can I use clindamycin phosphate topical gel safely and effectively?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Dr Chin Yee Choong

"Dedicated to the ethical practice of Aesthetic Medicine"

Topical clindamycin phosphate is a topical antibiotic that is used for the treatment of inflammatory acne (painful swollen bumps). It is not effective and should not be used for the treatment of non-inflammatory acne (whiteheads and blackheads).

The effective and safe use of topical clindamycin phosphate involves the following:

  1. Use only to treat inflamed lesions of acne for a short duration of time (several weeks). Stop application once the inflamed acne subsides.
  2. Apply twice daily regularly. Excessive daily application often causes irritation. Infrequent and inconsistent use may be ineffective and will promote bacterial resistance.
  3. Combine with topical benzoyl peroxide which augments the bacteria-killing effects and also helps reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance.
  4. Avoid concomitant use of oral antibiotics which increases the risk of bacterial resistance.
  5. When the active inflamed acne has subsided, phase in the use of topical retinoids (tretinoin, adapalene) for maintenance to prevent relapses.

If topical clindamycin phosphate therapy fails to give significant results after several weeks of application, bacterial resistance may be present and alternative treatment may be required for which a review by your doctor is required.

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All content posted is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This Q&A is not a patient consultation and any information provided herein is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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