Which medications in the drug class Acne Products are used in the treatment of Cutibacterium (Propionibacterium) Infections?

Updated: Dec 03, 2019
  • Author: Sajeev Handa, MBBCh, BAO, LRCSI, LRCPI; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Acne Products

Acne products are used for the treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris. These agents may have antibacterial and comedolytic properties. In severe cases, the agents may be used as an adjunct in the therapeutic regimens.

Erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide (Benzamycin, Aktipak)

Contains erythromycin, which is a macrolide antibiotic, as well as benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide, in addition to being an antibacterial agent, is a keratolytic and desquamative agent. With benzoyl peroxide, free-radical oxygen is released upon administration, oxidizing bacterial proteins in sebaceous follicles and decreasing the number of anaerobic, bacterial, and irritating free fatty acids. Has keratolytic and comedolytic effects.

Erythromycin is indicated for infections caused by susceptible strains of microorganisms.

The combination drug may be applied topically twice daily.

Clindamycin and tretinoin (Ziana, Veltin)

Contains the topical antibiotic clindamycin 1.2% as well as tretinoin 0.025%. Clindamycin reduces C acnes levels and is anti-inflammatory. Tretinoin normalizes differentiation of keratinocytes and is anti-inflammatory. Apply daily to affected areas.

Clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide (Acanya, Duac, BenzaClin, Neuac, Onexton)

Contains the topical antibiotic clindamycin as well as benzoyl peroxide. Clindamycin reduces C acnes levels and is anti-inflammatory. Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial agent, comedolytic, and anti-inflammatory. Benzoyl peroxide reduces risk of development of bacterial resistance to clindamycin. Acanya gel contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and Duac CS and BenzaClin contain 5% benzoyl peroxide. Apply Acanya and Duac CS once daily. BenzaClin is applied twice daily.

Azelaic acid (Azelex, Finacea)

Has been shown to help reduce inflammation and may aid in treatment of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. Apply twice daily. Improvement may be seen within 4 weeks.

Benzoyl peroxide (BenzePro, PanOxyl, Neutrogena Clear Pore, Benziq, Clearskin)

Benzoyl peroxide is an oxidizing agent that possesses antibacterial properties and is comedolytic. The antibacterial activity results from the release of active or free-radical oxygen that can oxidize bacterial proteins. Benzoyl peroxide is oxidized into benzoic acid upon skin contact. It is available OTC and by prescription.

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