How does clindamycin work for acne?

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

Clindamycin solution is one of the safest effective acne prescriptions. For this reason, it is also one of the only acne prescriptions that can be used during pregnancy or while breast feeding. But how does clindamycin work and what should you know if you are thinking about starting this medicine?

To answer these questions, you first need to understand the different causes of acne. Acne is caused by what dermatologists call "dysmaturation" of the skin. Skin cells called keratinonyctes are supposed to "mature" from deep layers in the skin to the top of the skin in an orderly fashion every month or so. However, sometimes this process goes haywire and whiteheads and blackheads form. These "comedones" can then become infected by bacteria, and that's how we get pimples: red bumps sometimes containing pus and maybe even painful. That's where clindamycin comes in.

Clindamycin is a topical antibiotic. It fights of the bacteria at the heart of acne. Becuase clindamycin is in a watery solution form, you don't have to worry about many of the side effects that can happen with oral (pill form) antibiotics. Most patients use clindamycin twice a day, and it is safe to use this medicine for months. In general, it takes six weeks or so to see a clear benefit, and the benefits are ongoing as you continue the medicine. Dr Riyaz, a dermatologist in Washington D.C. says he likes clindamycin because "it targets the bacteria that are at the heart of acne, it's effective, patients like it, and interestingly it's one of the only acne medicines that is so safe that it can be used in pregnancy."

In the past, you had to see a doctor (preferably a board-certified dermatologist) in person in order to get a prescription for clinamycin solution. Our service brings the dermatologist to you so that you can get prescription clindamycin online, shipped to your doorstep. Clindamycin is an effective acne treatment, and by offering clindamycin online we hope to make everyone's skin a little clearer.


Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris [published correction appears in J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 June.

Ohlson J, Dakovic R, Berg M. Observational Study of Clindamycin Phosphate and Tretinoin Gel for the Treatment of Acne. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019

Purdy S, de Berker D. Acne vulgaris. BMJ Clin Evid. 2011;2011:1714. Published 2011 Jan 5.

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