Compare Benzoyl Peroxide vs. doxycycline

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)

Prescription or OTC

Vibramycin (doxycycline)

Prescription only
Topical treatment for acne and skin wounds.

Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) is a very popular topical acne treatment you can get over-the-counter or by prescription that may be better for people who don't want to take pill medication. Just be careful because it can bleach your hair, clothing and other fabrics.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 394 reviewsforBenzoyl Peroxide
Treats bacterial infections.

Vibramycin (doxycycline) is good for treating many bacterial infections, but can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight and make you more likely to get a sunburn or rash.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 112 reviewsfordoxycycline
Upsides
  • Benzoyl peroxide is used to reduce bacteria on the skin, which "calms" the skin down (lowers the inflammatory response) in acne.
  • Helps stop blemishes from forming when oil and skin cells become trapped in pores.
  • Although Benzoyl peroxide can irritate the skin, a true skin allergy is rare.
  • Can be used in combination with acne pill medicine if your doctor thinks you need it.
  • It's available in non-prescription strengths, easy to buy at any drugstore and pretty cheap compared to prescription pills to treat your acne.
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) is a good alternative for some types of bacterial infections for people who are allergic to penicillin.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available as a liquid for those who have trouble swallowing.
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) is safe for people age 65 or older and those who have kidney problems.
Downsides
  • Higher strengths (concentrations) can cause skin irritation and may appear as redness, peeling, abnormal dryness or stinging, tightening, or burning sensations.
  • It's rare, that a serious allergic reaction would occur, but it's a good idea to test a small area of skin before using on any larger or sensitive areas.
  • Not the best choice if you're pregnant. Benzoyl peroxide is categorized as pregnancy Category C (weigh risks vs benefits) as compared to similar topical medicines that are in Category B (likely safe).
  • Can cause bleaching of hair and clothing.
  • May not work as well when used by itself over long period of time.
  • You'll need to stay out of the sun or apply a sunscreen if you have to be outdoors.
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) can make some birth control less effective, so you may have to use barrier methods (like condoms) while on it.
  • Vitamins, iron supplements, or antacids can't be taken at the same time as Vibramycin (doxycycline).
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) can cause severe diarrhea that is usually watery and bloody, as late as up to 2 months after finishing the medicine.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Liquid
  • Topical solution
  • Pill
  • Delayed release pill
  • Liquid
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
394 reviews so far
60%
saidit'sworth it
29%
saiditworked well
9%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)?

Leave a review
112 reviews so far
49%
saidit'sworth it
36%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Vibramycin (doxycycline)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Vibramycin (doxycycline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Bleaching effects
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Color changes in teeth of young children and unborn babies
    • Age 8 or younger
    • Women in their last half of pregnancy
    • Infants
  • Severe diarrhea
    • Using Vibramycin (doxycycline) for a long period of time
  • Sunburn or rash
    • Being in the sun for a long period of time
    • Using tanning salons
  • Harm to fetus (unborn baby)
    • Women who can potentially or want to become pregnant
    • Pregnant women
See more detailed risks and warnings