How to Use Benzamycin for Acne

Benzamycin is a prescription topical acne treatment that combines 5% benzoyl peroxide with 3% erythromycin. It is used to treat mild to moderate acne vulgaris.

Benzoyl peroxide and topical antibiotics are effective acne treatments on their own. When they're combined in Benzamycin, you get a powerhouse acne treatment that can be more effective than either ingredient on its own.

Generic forms of Benzamycin are available as well.

Woman examining face in mirror
moodboard / Cultura / Getty Images

How Benzamycin Works

Benzoyl peroxide seems to have the greatest effect on inflammatory acne breakouts, such as papules and pustules. Erythromycin is an antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties.

When Benzamycin gel is applied topically to affected areas, the two agents absorb into the skin and kill Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).

It may take a while before you start noticing improvement of the skin, so don't give up on your medication too quickly. You may find your acne actually gets a bit worse before getting better. Try not to get discouraged if this happens and continue using your medication as directed.

Plan on using Benzamycin for several weeks before seeing a noticeable improvement in your skin.

Common Usage Directions

Benzamycin is applied to all affected areas twice daily, morning and night.

First, cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser and let the skin dry completely. Carefully smooth a light layer of Benzamycin over the skin.

The medication should dry clear. If you end up with a white film on the skin, you've used too much. Try a bit less next time.

While applying, stay away from the nose, lips, and eyes. These areas are easily irritated by this medication. Don't use Benzamycin more often than directed, and don't apply more medication than advised.

Possible Side Effects

Like most acne medications, the most common side effects of Benzamycin are:

  • Dryness
  • Peeling

Other side effects can include:

  • Stinging
  • Burning or itching
  • Redness and irritation
  • Increased sensitivity to the sun
  • Skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation)

Your healthcare provider will want to know about any side effects you experienc (whether they are listed here or not), so inform them right away.

Tips for Use

Let your healthcare provider know if you are using any other acne medication, including over-the-counter treatments or medicated skincare products. Your practitioner may ask you to stop using these products while you're using Benzamycin.

Tell your medical professional if you're pregnant, nursing, or become pregnant.

Benzamycin will bleach hair, clothes, towels, wash clothes, pillowcases, etc. Wash your hands well after applying Benzamycin, and let your medication dry completely before coming in contact with any fabric. Keep the medication away from the hairline too.

Use moisturizer. The daily use of a noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic moisturizer will help combat dryness and flaking, and help keep your skin comfortable.

Wear an oil-free sunscreen every day. Benzamycin can cause photosensitivity, so you'll be more sensitive to the sun's rays while using this medication. You'll need to protect your skin from the sun, even if you don't normally sunburn.

Was this page helpful?
9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Nevada Department of Health & Human Services. Therapeutic class overview: benzoyl peroxide/antibiotic combinations.

  2. Mokhtari F, Gholami M, Siadat AH, et al. Efficacy of intense-pulsed light therapy with topical benzoyl peroxide 5% versus benzoyl peroxide 5% alone in mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized controlled trialJ Res Pharm Pract. 2017 Dec;6(4):199-205. doi:10.4103/jrpp.JRPP_17_29

  3. Alzolibani AA, Zedan K. Macrolides in chronic inflammatory skin disordersMediators Inflamm. 2012 May;2012(1):1-7. doi:10.1155/2012/159354

  4. Platsidaki E, Dessinioti C. Recent advances in understanding propionibacterium acnes (cutibacterium acnes) in acne. F1000Research. 2018 Dec;1(1):1-12. doi:10.12688/f1000research.15659.1

  5. Moradi Tuchayi S, Alexander TM, Nadkarni A, Feldman SR. Interventions to increase adherence to acne treatmentPatient Prefer Adherence. 2016 Oct;10(1):2091-2096. doi:10.2147/PPA.S117437

  6. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Bausch Health. Benzamycin.

  7. Bausch Health. Benzamycin Topical Gel.

  8. Rathi SK. Acne vulgaris treatment : the current scenarioIndian J Dermatol. 2011 Feb;56(1):7-13. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.77543

  9. Kryczyk-Poprawa A, Kwiecień A, Opoka W. Photostability of topical agents applied to the skin: a reviewPharmaceutics. 2019 Dec;12(1):10. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics12010010