The Independent Pharmacy

What is Treclin Gel: From How It Works To Common Side Effects

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 13 Dec 2023

Treclin Gel is a topical treatment that is used to treat moderate cases of acne. In this guide, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions people have about the popular acne treatment.

Read on for an overview of what Treclin Gel is, how long the medication takes to work, related side effects, and more.

What is Treclin Gel?

Treclin Gel is a topical skin medication that is most commonly used to treat moderate cases of acne. The gel contains two active ingredients: clindamycin and tretinoin.

Clindamycin is an antibiotic that reduces the growth of bacteria that causes skin inflammation and acne. Tretinoin is an active ingredient that increases new skin cell production, preventing skin cells from clogging up hair follicles and reducing the build-up of sebum. A light yellow oily substance, sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands to help keep the skin and hair moisturised, but too much of it can lead to the formation of acne lesions.

Working in combination, clindamycin and tretinoin are far more effective than when used separately. Treclin Gel is available as a prescription-only medicine and comes in 30g tubes.

Buy Treclin Dual-Action Gel
Buy Treclin Dual-Action Gel
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What is Treclin Gel used for?

Treclin is applied to the skin and used to treat acne for people who are 12 years and older.

Clindamycin and tretinoin, the two active ingredients in Treclin Gel, combine to treat the most common symptoms of acne. These include blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, papules and redness.

Does Treclin Gel work?

Treclin is a highly effective treatment for cases of moderate acne. In 2014, a study concluded that Treclin was superior to using either clindamycin or tretinoin by themselves to treat patients with mild to moderate acne.

Reviews by customers of The Independent Pharmacy highlight how effective Treclin has been for real users. In particular, our customers have praised the speed of Treclin’s results and its effectiveness.

When using Treclin Gel, you should see a difference in your acne within a couple of weeks. However, if you don’t see an improvement after a month, you may need to talk to your doctor about trying an alternative acne treatment.

How do you use Treclin?

The recommended dose of Trecilin is a pea-sized amount of gel. This should be applied once a day, just before you go to bed.

For the best results, before applying Treclin Gel, you should wash your face gently with mild soap and warm water. When your face is clean, squeeze a pea-sized amount of Treclin Gel onto the tip of your index finger.

Using your index finger, lightly dab the gel to the problem areas of your face — forehead, chin, nose and both cheeks. Then, using both hands, lightly spread the gel so that it creates a thin layer over your whole face.

It’s important to note that you should not use more than the recommended amount of Treclin Gel. Using it more than once a day will not improve its effectiveness and may irritate the skin, increasing your chances of experiencing side effects.

How long does Treclin Gel take to work?

Although you should start to see results within a few weeks of using Treclin Gel, it may take several months to clear your skin entirely of acne.

For the best results, don’t stop using Treclin Gel as soon as your acne starts to get better. Continue using the medication for the entire recommended course to reduce the chances of your acne flaring back up.

Some people will find that Treclin Gel takes up to 12 weeks to work. If your symptoms continue for more than 12 weeks after you started using Treclin Gel, you will need to speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Can Treclin Gel make your skin worse?

Treclin Gel contains two active ingredients: tretinoin and clindamycin. The former, tretinoin, speeds up the process of skin cell replacement.

Over a long period, this will help give you fresher skin, reducing blemishes and acne. In the short term, for a small minority of people that use Treclin Gel, it can lead to temporary acne breakouts, dryness, and skin peeling.

These side effects are sometimes referred to as a Treclin Gel purge. Such a purge usually lasts for about two to six weeks but on rare occasions, it can last longer. If you find that it continues for more than a few weeks, you should speak to your doctor.

Can Treclin cause dry skin?

As detailed in the ‘Can Treclin Gel make your skin worse?’ section, in some cases, using Treclin can trigger a purge that causes your acne to become worse. One of the effects of a Treclin Gel purge is dry skin. These side effects are usually only temporary.

Does Treclin Gel have any side effects?

Like any medication, Treclin Gel can cause unexpected reactions within your body. Most people won’t experience any issues, but the side effects caused by Treclin Gel can be classified into two categories: uncommon and rare.

Uncommon Treclin Gel side effects

The following side effects may affect up to one in 100 people:

  • Increased acne
  • Dry skin
  • Burning skin
  • Inflamed skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Increased sebum production
  • Photosensitivity reaction
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Scaling of the skin

Rare Treclin Gel side effects

The following side effects may affect up to one in 1,000 people:

  • Hypersensitivity
  • Underactive thyroid gland
  • Headache
  • Eye irritation
  • Gastroenteritis (inflammation of any part of the gastrointestinal tract)
  • Nausea
  • Cold sores
  • Skin discolouration (loss of pigmentation)
  • Skin burning

If you experience any of the rare side effects listed above, you should stop using Treclin and speak to your doctor.

How does Treclin Gel mix with other medications?

Treclin Gel does not have many interactions with other medicines. That said, there are cases when Treclin Gel will not be suitable for some people to use.

If you are allergic to tretinoin or clindamycin, you shouldn’t use Treclin Gel. Doing so will increase your chances of experiencing rare and serious side effects.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you also shouldn’t use Treclin Gel. It is recommended that women of childbearing age should use contraception while using Treclin Gel and for one month after using the medication.

If you have Crohn's disease, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using Treclin Gel. Some medications used to treat Crohn's disease can react badly when used in combination with Treclin Gel.


Treclin Gel is a highly effective medication for treating mild to moderate cases of acne. Most people using the treatment will not experience side effects and will notice a visible improvement in their acne within a couple of weeks of daily use.

If you have acne, you can buy Treclin Gel from The Independent Pharmacy quickly and easily. All you need to do is have a free consultation with one of our trained pharmacists. If the Treclin Gel is deemed safe and suitable for you to use, we will deliver the medication the next day, straight to your door in plain and discreet packaging.

For more information on alternative treatments, visit our acne treatments page.


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