The most commonly used topical acne treatments include benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, topical acne antibiotics, azelaic acid, and combination topical products.

1) Benzoyl Peroxide:

Benzoyl peroxide can improve acne by killing the acne bacteria and by unblocking oil gland pores. There are many different benzoyl peroxide products available to you. The lower concentrations can be obtained over the counter (OTC), while higher strengths require a prescription.

2) Retinoids:

These products are the most effective type of medications for unblocking the pores of oil glands. They are generally considered to be the first choice of treatment for whiteheads and blackheads (comedones). Although there are a variety of topical retinoids, your physician can choose the one that is best suited to your needs.

  • Tretinoin
  • Adapalene
  • Tazarotene
  • Isotretinoin

3) Topical Acne Antibiotics – Antibacterial/Anti-Inflammatory:

  • Clindamycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Sulfacetamide

4) Azelaic Acid – Antibacterial/Anti-Inflammatory:

5) Combination Topical Products:

  • Topical retinoid with erythromycin (Stievamycin® by Stiefel) – Available only in Canada
  • Topical benzoyl peroxide with erythromycin (Benzamycin® by Dermik)
  • Topical benzoyl peroxide with clindamycin (CLINDOXYL® by Stiefel in Canada, Duac® by Stiefel in the USA) – Click here to view the A-Detail™ on CLINDOXYL®
  • Topical benzoyl peroxide with clindamycin (BenzaClin® by Dermik)