Available in the form of a gel, BenzaClin is a prescription drug that is applied to the skin to treat acne. It contains two antibiotic medications and works by killing acne-causing bacteria. This medication is typically applied to the affected areas of the skin twice a day. Possible side effects include skin irritation, such as itching, burning, and dryness.
As mentioned, BenzaClin combines two medications: benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin.
Clindamycin belongs to a class of antibiotics known as licosamides. It works by binding to bacterial ribosomes (the parts of cells that make proteins) and interfering with their ability to make proteins, which are necessary for bacteria to grow and multiply. This helps stop the spread of the bacteria that contribute to acne (Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes for short).
Benzoyl peroxide is also thought to work by killing P. acnes. It does this by releasing oxygen into the pores of the skin. Because P. acnes is a type of anaerobic bacteria, which means it lives without oxygen, the oxygen kills the bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide also helps soften and peel away the outer layer of the skin, which can open up clogged pores and help improve the skin's appearance.
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National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 1, 2011.
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