- Treats mild to moderate acne
- Visible improvements between 2 and 4 weeks
- Kills the bacteria responsible for spreading acne
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What is Duac?
Duac Gel is a topical acne treatment and is the first line treatment for mild to moderate acne.
Duac gel works by killing and stopping the spread of bacteria present on the skin that is responsible for causing acne, spots, and pimples.
This antibiotic gel contains two medicines, clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide. These active ingredients work together to kill the bacteria that is responsible for spreading acne.
Most people who use Duac gel once a day will notice an improvement after between 2 and 4 weeks.
What is Duac used to treat?
Duac Gel is an effective treatment for mild to moderate cases of acne. Generally, people who use this product to treat acne will start to notice initial results after using Duac once a day for between 2 and 4 weeks.
Your skin should have cleared up completely after using Duac for three months. After this period of time, you are normally advised to keep applying the gel to the skin to prevent a relapse in your acne symptoms.
If you cannot take oral treatments, Duac Gel makes an excellent and effective alternative.
According to the NHS, about 95% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 are affected by acne to some extent.
Duac can be used by adults and children over the age of 12.
How does Duac work?
Clindamycin is a topical antibiotic and is the first line treatment for mild to moderate acne.
It works by stopping the bacteria in acne from reproducing and spreading on the skin, causing spots, inflammation (redness) and other symptoms of acne.
Benzoyl peroxide removes blockages in the pores of your skin; it also has antibacterial properties. After clindamycin has stopped the bacteria from reproducing, benzoyl peroxide can then kill the bacteria, which reduces pimples, inflammation and improves the appearance of acne.
When used together, these two medicines can also help to treat existing whiteheads and blackheads.
Duac Gel and acne scars
Some people find that a secondary benefit of Duac is that it can lessen the appearance of acne scars on the skin. Acne scars are generally difficult to treat, but they do tend to fade over time.
To lessen the risk and severity of scarring, you should not squeeze or pick your spots.
Other treatments, particularly those containing retinoids such as Treclin Gel, are clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
You should apply Duac with your fingertips.
The table below shows how much you should use depending on the area you are treating.
One fingertip (the first crease on your finger)
Face and back
Two and a half fingertips
Do not use Duac for longer than 12 weeks.
How to use Duac Gel
You should apply Duac Gel once a day, in the evening. Your doctor will tell you how long you should use it for.
- Remove any makeup you may have on your face.
- Wash the affected area well before rinsing with warm water and gently patting it dry.
- Using your fingertips, apply a thin layer of gel to the entire area of affected skin.
- Do not just apply to individual spots; apply the gel to all the areas of your skin affected by acne.
- Wash your hands after you have applied the medicine.
Read the patient information leaflet for full instructions.
Who can use Duac Gel?
Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin or any of the other ingredients contained in the gel (please refer to the Ingredients tab for full details).
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using this treatment if you have or have ever had any of the following gut conditions:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Regional enteritis
- Antibiotic-associated colitis
This treatment is not suitable for children who are under the age of 12.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are due to have surgery. Duac can affect certain general anaesthetics.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, tell your doctor before using this treatment. Do not apply Duac to your breasts if you are currently breastfeeding.
Can you buy Duac over the counter?
No, you must have a prescription to buy Duac.
Can you buy Duac online in the UK?
You can buy Duac online from regulated pharmacies like Medicine Direct. However, as this is a prescription-only medicine (POM), you will be required to complete a confidential questionnaire for one of our prescribers to review. This is to make certain that Duac Gel is the most appropriate treatment for your acne.
Next day delivery is available on orders that are placed before 2pm.
What alternatives are there to Duac?
Over the counter medicines may be enough to control your acne. Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient in pharmacy treatments for acne, so you may find that you do not need a prescription-only medication like Duac to control the problem.
Medicine Direct stocks various treatments for this skin condition. Other topical treatments we stock include Acnecide, Zineryt and Dalacin T. All of these medicines can be bought after an online consultation.
Our full range of acne medicines can be viewed on the Acne product page.
Dosage and Directions
Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE prescribing guidelines when prescribing Duac Gel.
Always apply Duac Once Daily Gel as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly and speak to your doctor or pharmacist for guidance if you are still not sure.
Use Duac once a day in the evening.
The gel should be rubbed into the skin easily; if you cannot rub it into your skin, this means you are using too much.
Do not use this product for longer than 12 weeks at a time. Your doctor will advise you as to how long you should use this medication.
Does acne come back after you stop using Duac?
Can Duac make acne worse?
Do you wash Duac off in the morning?
Can you use a moisturiser while using Duac?
How long should I leave Duac on for?
How long should I use Duac for?
Are there other acne treatments I can buy?
Can I drink alcohol with it?
Can lifestyle changes help with acne?
Do I need a prescription for Duac gel?
Does Duac get rid of blackheads and whiteheads?
Will I get any side effects when using Duac?
Like all medicines, Duac Once Daily Gel comes with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone gets them.
Common side effects of Duac include:
- Redness, peeling or dryness of the skin
- Burning, pain or sensitivity to sunlight
Some people may experience:
- Worsening of acne
- Red, itchy skin
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if any of these reactions bother you or do not go away.
Please refer to the Side Effects tab for rarer reactions.
Serious Side Effects
You should stop using this gel and seek medical attention if you suffer any of the following side effects of Duac:
- Severe or prolonged abdominal cramps or diarrhoea (including bloody diarrhoea)
- Inflammation of the intestine
In rare cases you may suffer a severe allergic reaction and require immediate treatment in hospital. Stop using the gel and call 999 or go to A&E straight away if:
- You develop a skin rash that may have red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
- You have swelling in your face, mouth, throat, tongue or lips
- You have tightness in your chest or throat
- You are wheezing
Always read the patient information leaflet for full details on side effects
Warnngs and Drug Interactions
Inform your doctor if you are already taking any of the following:
- Any other form of acne treatment
- Any medicated or 'abrasive' soaps or cleansers
- Soaps or cosmetics that have a strong drying effect
- Any products containing large amounts of astringents or alcohol
- Any products that contain tretinoin, isotretinoin or tazarotene
- Any medicines containing erythromycin
For more information on medicines that interact with Duac Gel.
Do not use this treatment for more than 12 weeks at a time.
Using Duac at the same time as a product containing dapsone and sulfacetamide can cause temporary skin or facial hair discolouration.
If you suffer from severe skin irritation, stop using this treatment and speak to your doctor.
This medicine is for topical use only - keep it away from your eyes, lips, mouth and nostrils. If the treatment comes into contact with any of these areas, rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Do not use on infected or broken skin, cuts or sores.
This prescription medication can bleach fabrics; keep away from clothes and bed linen.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
There is only limited information available as to whether Duac Once Daily Gel is suitable to be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
For this reason, you should inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are currently pregnant, think you might be pregnant, are trying to get pregnant or are breastfeeding, before you start to use this gel.
Duac Gel Ingredients
The main active ingredients within this medicine are: Benzoyl peroxide and Clindamycin phosphate
For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics
Updated on: 20/08/2021
This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan
How it works - get your medicine in 3 simple steps
- 1 Choose your treatment Select the treatment or medication you need and answer a few questions online regarding your condition.
- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
- 3 Receive your delivery Your medication is dispensed and delivered directly to you from our UK based Pharmacy.