Background. A new topical antibiotic preparation, clindamycin in a lotion base, was compared with oral tetracycline in the treatment of rosacea. Forty-three patients clinically diagnosed as having rosacea were examined in an investigator-blinded study.

Methods. Patients used topical clindamycin lotion applied twice daily or the usual oral dose of tetracycline hydrochloride (250 mg four times a day for 3 weeks, then 250 mg twice a day for the remaining 9 weeks). Patients’lesions were examined clinically at 3-week intervals over a period of 12 weeks.

Results. Topical clindamycin treatment produced similar clinical results to oral tetracycline and was superior in the eradication of pustules.

Conclusions. These results show topical clindamycin in a lotion base to be a safe and effective alternative to oral tetracycline therapy in the treatment of rosacea.