Topical Acne Treatments
TOPICAL ACNE TREATMENTS
Generic Brand Strength Form Dose
ANTIBACTERIAL/ANTIKERATINIZING
azelaic acid Azelex Rx 20% crm Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Gently massage thin film to affected areas twice daily (AM and PM) to clean, dry skin. Wash hands after use. May decrease to once daily if persistent irritation occurs.
ANTIBACTERIAL/KERATOLYTIC
benzoyl peroxide Benzac AC Rx 5%, 10% water-base gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply to cleansed area 1−2 times daily
wash Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Wash affected area 1−2 times daily; rinse
Benzac‑W Rx 2.5%, 5%, 10% aqueous-base gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply to cleansed area once daily, increase to 2−3 times daily as tolerated
5%, 10% wash Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Wash affected area 1−2 times a day; rinse
Desquam‑X Rx 5%, 10% water-base gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Massage into cleansed area 1−2 times daily
water-based wash Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Wash affected areas 1−2 times daily; rinse
Neobenz Micro Rx 3.5%, 5.5% crm Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply to cleansed area 1−2 times daily
Neobenz 
Micro SD
Rx 5.5% crm
Neobenz Micro Wash Rx 7% wash Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Wash affected areas 1−2 times daily; rinse
Riax Rx 5.5%, 9.5% foam Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply thin layer, and rinse thoroughly 1−3 times daily as tolerated. May reduce to once daily or every other day if dryness or peeling occurs.
KERATOLYTIC
salicylic acid Phisoderm
Anti-Blemish Body Wash
OTC 2% body wash Children: Not applicable.
Adults: Massage onto skin; rinse
Phisoderm
Anti-Blemish Gel Facial Wash
OTC 2% gel Children: Not applicable.
Adults: Massage onto skin twice daily; rinse
SULFONE
dapsone Aczone Rx 5% gel Children: Not established.
Adults: Apply pea-sized amount to affected area twice daily (AM & PM). Wash hands after use. Reevaluate if no improvement after 12wks.
7.5% gel Children: Not established.
Adults: Apply pea-sized amount to affected area once daily. Wash hands after use. Reevaluate if no improvement after 12wks.
ANTIMICROBIALS
clinda
mycin
Cleocin T Rx 1% soln5, pads5, lotion, gel Children: Not established.
Adults: Apply thin film twice daily
Clindagel Rx 1% gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply thin film once daily
Clindets Rx 1% pledgets5 Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply thin film twice daily
Evoclin Rx 1% foam3 Children: <12yrs: Not established.
Adults: Apply once daily to clean, dry skin
erythro
mycin
Rx 2% gel Children: Not established.
Adults: Apply thin film 1−2 times daily
soln, pads3 Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply with applicator or pads to clean, dry skin twice daily
Ery 2% Pads Rx 2% pledgets3 Children: Not applicable.
Adults: Rub over cleansed area twice daily (AM & PM)
sodium sulfacet
amide
Klaron Rx 10% lotion Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply thin film twice daily to affected areas
RETINOIDS
adapalene Differin Rx 0.1% crm6 Children: Not established.
Adults: Apply thin film to affected areas once daily after washing. Reduce frequency or discontinue if prolonged or severe irritation occurs.
OTC 0.1% gel6
Rx 0.3% gel6
0.1% lotion
tazarotene Fabior Rx 0.1% foam Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply thin layer to clean, dry affected area (face, upper trunk) once daily in PM. Women of childbearing potential: Begin therapy during normal menses.
Tazorac Rx 0.05%*, 0.1% crm, gel Children: <12yrs: Not established.
Adults: Apply thin film of 0.1% strength to lesions on clean, dry face once daily in the PM. Women of childbearing potential: Begin therapy during normal menses.
tretinoin Altreno Rx 0.05% lotion4 Adults and Children: <9yrs: not established. ≥9yrs: apply thin layer to affected areas once daily. Reduce frequency or discontinue if severe irritation occurs.
Atralin Rx 0.05% gel2,4 <10yrs: Not recommended.
≥10yrs: Apply sparingly at bedtime to clean skin once daily. Adjust amount and frequency as tolerated.
Avita Rx 0.025% crm, gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply sparingly to clean, dry skin once daily at bedtime. If irritation develops, adjust dose or frequency as tolerated and needed.
Retin‑A Rx 0.025%, 0.05%, 0.1% crm
0.01%, 0.025% gel1
0.05% liq3
Retin‑A Micro Rx 0.04%, 0.08%, 0.1% aqueous gel
COMBINATION AGENTS
adapalene/ benzoyl peroxide Epiduo Forte Gel Rx 0.3%/
 
2.5%
gel Children: Not established.
Adults: Apply thin film to affected areas of face and/or trunk once daily after washing. Use a pea-sized amount for each area of the face.
Epiduo Gel Rx 0.1%/
 
2.5%
gel <9yrs: Not established.
≥9yrs: Apply thin film to clean affected areas (face, trunk) once daily. Use a pea-sized amount for each area of the face. Reduce frequency or discontinue if prolonged or severe irritation occurs.
clinda
mycin/ benzoyl peroxide
Acanya Rx 1.2%/
 
2.5%
gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply pea-sized amount in a thin layer to clean, dry face once daily. Wash hands after use.
Benzaclin Rx 1%/5% gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply twice daily
Duac Rx 1%/5% gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply to clean, dry skin once daily in the evening
Onexton Rx 1.2%/
 
3.75%
gel Children: Not established.
Adults: Apply a pea-sized amount once daily
clinda
mycin/ tretinoin
Ziana Rx 1.2%/
 
0.025%
gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply thin film to clean, dry face once daily at bedtime
erythro
mycin/
benzoyl peroxide
Benzamycin Rx 3%/5% gel Children: Not recommended.
Adults: Apply to clean, dry skin twice daily
NOTES

*Only 0.1% indicated for mild to moderate acne vulgaris

1contains cetearyl alcohol
2contains parabens
3contains alcohol
4contains benzyl alcohol
5contains isopropyl alcohol
6alcohol‑free

Not an inclusive list of medications and/or doses. Please see drug monograph at www.eMPR.com, contact company for full drug labeling and/or consult your healthcare provider. Contains FDA‑approved doses only for Rx products.

(Rev. 6/2019)

This article originally appeared on MPR