Compare Benzoyl peroxide vs. Erygel

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

Benzac
(Benzoyl Peroxide)

Akne-Mycin
(Erythromycin)

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.Topical treatment for acne. Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin) is a very common acne treatment you apply to the skin that may work better when combined with other topical medicines.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.57544757033248Benzoyl peroxide
Reviews for Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)
60%
of people say Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) is worth it
29%
say it works well
9%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin)
46%
14% vs. Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)
34%
+5% vs. Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)
20%
11% vs. Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)
Side effects
Benzoyl peroxideErygel

The Benzoyl peroxide FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Benzoyl peroxide side effects »

The Erygel FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Erygel side effects »
How it works
Benzoyl peroxideErygel
Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) is a topical acne medicine. It seems to fight the bacteria responsible for producing acne in oil (sebaceous) glands, and dries out acne-affected areas. Also, it speeds up growth of damaged skin from serious breakdown, injury, or disease.Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin) is a topical antibiotic. It fights bacteria that cause acne in oil (sebaceous) glands, and contains alcohol which dries out acne-affected areas.
Type of medication
Benzoyl peroxideErygel
Acne agent
Antibiotic
Prescription or OTC
Acne agent
Antibiotic
Prescription only
Available as
Benzoyl peroxideErygel
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Liquid
  • Topical solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Topical solution
Used for (click to learn more)
Benzoyl peroxideErygel
Risk factors for serious side effects
Benzoyl peroxideErygel
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
      Detailed Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) risks & warnings »
        • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
        • Eczema
        • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
          Detailed Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          Benzoyl peroxideErygel
          NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

          The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

          See the FDA package insert
          BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

          Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

          See the FDA package insert
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          Sex
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          Benzoyl peroxideErygel
          • 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.
          • Applying erythromycin to the skin reduces the amount of acne bacteria and "calms" the skin down (lowers the inflammatory response) in acne.
          • Available in a gel formulation which may be better if your skin is very oily.
          • Better choice if you're pregnant. erythromycin is categorized as pregnancy Category B (likely safe) as compared to similar topical medicines that are Category C (weigh risks vs benefits).
          Downsides and risks
          Benzoyl peroxideErygel
          • 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.
          • There's a risk of irritation with anything you apply to your skin and this is no different. erythromycin, like other topical antibiotics, 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
          • Studies show it works better when combined with other topical medicines to fight acne and reduce the risk of it losing its effectiveness over time.
          • Can cause severe inflammation of the large intestine (pseudomembranous colitis)
          • Stop using if you don't notice any improvement in your acne after 6-8 weeks. The most time you can use it is three months.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          Benzoyl peroxideErygel
          • Acne can take several weeks to show up in the skin so it's best to use for 2-3 months before you decide it doesn't work.
          • Studies showed it didn't matter what strength people used, they all took about the same time to work.
          • Higher strengths greater than 2.5% may not work any better but might cause more side effects.
          • Using a moisturizer that doesn't block your pores (non-comedogenic) may help lessen common side effects of skin dryness and peeling.
          • Taking good care of your skin is an important part of treating acne. Lightly wash with warm water and non-soap-based or gentle cleanser.
          • Very commonly used topical antibiotic to treat acne.
          • The only topical erythromycin in a gel formula.
          • Apply a thin film to clean and dry affected skin once or twice a day.
          • It may take 6-8 weeks before you see improvement in your acne.
          • Avoid getting into your eyes, nose or mouth.
          • Let your doctor know if you notice abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhea after starting this medicine.
          • Using a moisturizer that doesn't block your pores (non-comedogenic) may help lessen common side effects of skin dryness and peeling.
          • Taking good care of your skin is an important part of treating acne. Lightly wash with warm water and non-soap-based or gentle cleanser.
          Learn more
          More about Benzoyl peroxideSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about ErygelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert