How Do Topical Combos Acne Agents Work?

Reviewed on 6/17/2021

HOW DO TOPICAL COMBO ACNE AGENTS WORK?

Topical combo acne agents are a class of drugs used to treat acne and seborrheic dermatitis. Acne is usually treated with combination therapy to address its multifactorial pathophysiology. Topical combo acne agents are combinations of topical antibiotics (such as clindamycin and erythromycin), keratolytics (sulfur), retinoids (tretinoin), and emollients.

Topical combo acne agents work in the following ways:

  • Acne is a result of clogged pores, wherein oil, dirt, and dead skin cells clog the pores, leading to acne and localized infections.
  • Topical combo acne agents target the clogged pores by encouraging the shedding of dead skin cells.
  • They reduce the number of acne-causing bacteria and make the skin dry, thus peeling off the dead skin cells.
  • They inhibit sebum production (high amounts of sebum can lead to severe acne) and also help to reduce inflammation.
  • They work by limiting bacterial growth and kill the bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes, the most common acne-causing bacteria) present beneath the skin.
  • They increase sun sensitivity of the skin that helps to treat existing blemishes and prevent new ones to develop.
  • In addition, they prevent and reduce the scarring of the skin.

Topical combo acne agents are available in the form of creams, lotions, gels, face wash, cleaning pads, and scrubs.

HOW ARE TOPICAL COMBOS ACNE AGENTS USED?

Acne may worsen during the first few days of taking these drugs, and it may take up to 1 to 2 months before you notice the full benefit of these medications. They may be used to treat:

SLIDESHOW

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WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF TOPICAL COMBOS ACNE AGENTS?

Common side effects include:

  • Pruritis (itching)
  • Erythema (redness)
  • Skin irritation
  • Burning and/or stinging
  • Dryness/scaling of the skin
  • Peeling skin
  • Skin fragility

Other rare side effects include:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

WHAT ARE NAMES OF TOPICAL COMBOS ACNE AGENTS?

Drug names include:                              

  • Acanya
  • adapalene/benzoyl peroxide
  • Aktipak
  • Avar
  • Avar LS
  • Avar-E
  • Avar-E LS
  • BenzaClin
  • Benzamycin
  • Benzamycin Pak
  • Benzoyl peroxide/tretinoin topical
  • Cerisa Wash
  • Clarifoam EF
  • Claris Clarifying Wash
  • Clenia Emollient Cream
  • Clenia Foaming Wash
  • Clindamycin topical/benzoyl peroxide
  • Clindamycin/tretinoin
  • Duac
  • Epiduo
  • Epiduo Forte
  • Erythromycin topical/benzoyl peroxide
  • Onexton
  • Prascion Cleanser
  • Prascion FC Facial Cleansing Cloths
  • Prascion RA with Sunscreens
  • Rosaderm Cleanser
  • Rosanil Cleanser
  • Rosula
  • Rosula Wash
  • Sodium sulfacetamide/sulfur
  • Sulfacet R
  • Sumadan Wash
  • Sumaxan Cleansing Pads
  • Sumaxin TS
  • Sumaxin Wash
  • Twyneo
  • Veltin
  • Zencia Wash
  • Ziana
References
https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-3065-6130/sulfacetamide-sodium-sulfur-topical/sodium-sulfacetamide-sulfur-topical/details

https://www.rxlist.com/sodium-sulfacetamide-and-sulfur-lotion-drug.htm#description

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a609005.html

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1465/clindamycin-phosphate-topical/details

https://www.medicinenet.com/clindamycin-topical/article.htm#what_is_topical_clindamycin

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1096/erythromycin-topical/details

https://www.rxlist.com/erygel-drug/patient-images-side-effects.htm#info

https://www.medicinenet.com/erythromycin-topical_ointment/article.htm

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