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BenzaClin: A Gentle, Topical Agent for Acne

Acne Medications, Acne Vulgaris, Benzoyl Peroxide, Comedones

Acne vulgaris. Sounds like a pretty nasty disease or something. What is it? Well, acne vulgaris is simply a scary term for acne. It’s a skin problem that affects a large amount of the population, and begins when oil and dead skin cells accumulate and clog your pores. Acne goes by many names, such as zits, pimples, whiteheads…you name it. While there are many medicines out there that help acne, BenzaClin does a great job at reducing it.

BenzaClin comes as a gel which consists of 1% clindamycin and 5% benzoyl peroxide. It should be mixed thoroughly by the pharmacist prior to dispensing. Five milliliters of purified water is used to dissolve the clindamycin which is then added to the benzoyl peroxide gel and stirred vigorously. After the mixing process is complete, BenzaClin retains its activity for up to two months at room temperature.

BenzaClin is actually a topical agent. There are no pills to swallow. The FDA indication for BenzaClin is to apply it to the affected area(s) twice a day. You should do this in the morning and evening. Before you apply the BenzaClin, wash and gently dry the area you’re focusing on. Don’t be harsh to your skin when you’re washing and drying it. It may aggravate the area too much and cause reddening and itching.

How does BenzaClin work? Clindamycin binds to certain bacterial ribosomes and inhibits the protein synthesis. Clindamycin has been shown to decrease free fatty acids on the surface of the skin. Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial that is very active against specific acnes. The anaerobic bacterium that is commonly found in oil-producing follicles and comedones is called Propionibacterium. This is what Benzoyl peroxide attacks.

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BenzaClin is not advised for patients who are overly sensitive to either Clindamycin or Benzoyl peroxide, or to lincomycin (a certain antibiotic). If the patents have a history of regional enteritis (a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestine), ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), or antibiotic-associated colitis (chronic inflammation of the membrane lining the colon-your large intestine or bowel), this medicine should be avoided. Surprisingly, Clindamycin, including the topically applied drug, has been associated with severe colitis which may result in patient death! You may not use BenzaClin in or around eyes. If you are using this medicine with other acne medications, be extremely careful. You may be causing excessive irritation by doing this.

Like all medicines, BenzaClin has side effects. Dry skin is the most common adverse reaction. Other possible reactions include pruritus (itching sensation), peeling, erythema (redness of the skin caused by increased blood flow to the capillaries), and sunburn. If you have any abnormal diarrhea or abdominal cramping, report it to the doctor immediately.

If your pharmacist did not tell you already, you should discard any unused medication after two months. If a dose is missed, skip it and return to normal dosing schedule. BenzaClin may bleach hair or colored fabric, so be careful when using around clothes you don’t want spot-bleached. Don’t forget to wash you hands before and after applying BenzaClin on the affected area. You may not see results immediately, but don’t discontinue use of BenzaClin out of discouragement. Be patient and soon you’ll be seeing results that you haven’t experienced with over the counter remedies and medications. Here’s to an acne-free you!

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