Topical erythromycin is an ointment or gel, prescription only, which is an antibiotic and is used expressly for the treatment of acne on the surface of the skin. Erythromycin may also be taken internally in pill form, as an antibiotic for various uses, including for the treatment of acne vulgaris.
Typically, the use of either topical or internal erythromycin is supposed to clear acne within 6-8 weeks, and if it does not clear it up, the dermatologist will usually move the patient to a new type of acne treatment.
Potential side effects of topical erythromycin ointment, gel, or cream may be excessive dryness, hives in some people who may have a reaction to it, redness, and other less known and obscure side effects that may be due more to individual allergies or sensitivities.
Topical Erythromycin’s indications are usually that it be applied directly to the affected acne areas twice a day, depending on the patient’s situation and the discretion of that particular dermatologist who is treating them.