Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient in over the counter acne treatment medications used to treat mild to moderate acne. It is common to combine several acne treatments with a benzoyl peroxide medication. Benzoyl peroxide works by reducing the amount of bacteria (topical antiseptic) on the skin that causes acne, causing the skin to dry and peel.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Most people have used a benzoyl peroxide product for acne treatment. Benzoyl peroxide comes in many forms including cleansers, gels, lotions, soaps, foams, and more. It is important to use products as directed or as instructed by a skincare professional. It has a bactericidal effect on Propionibacterium acnes bacteria associated with acne and does not cause antibiotic resistance. It often is combined with an antibiotic such as clindamycin or salicylic acid, which has shown to be more effective then Benzoyl peroxide alone. Apply the chosen benzoyl peroxide based product to the areas of your skin affected by acne. Avoid getting this medication into your eyes, nose, mouth, or on any areas of broken skin since it may cause irritation. If irritation occurs, wash the area with water. Be advised that benzoyl peroxide may have a bleaching effect on hair or fabric. If diligent use of benzoyl peroxide products do not clear up the skin, or more severe acne breakouts occur, prescription strength medications such as Spironolactone may be necessary to clear up blemishes.
The goal of benzoyl peroxide is to reduce the appearance and occurrence of mild to moderate acne breakouts.
What to Expect
Over-the-counter acne treatments have been used for decades to help get rid of unwanted blemishes on the face and body. Benzoyl peroxide is a common active ingredient in acne fighting products and is sold in creams, washes, and foams. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after treatment with benzoyl peroxide.
Little preparation is needed before treatment when using a lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide. If using a prescribed dose, consult with your dermatologist before use. Before application ensure treatment area is clean and dry.
During Treatment: Week 1-3
OTC benzoyl peroxide is well tolerated by most people. However, for best results, it is advised to:
- Avoid strong facial cleansers for 1 week
- Avoid sun exposure for 1 week
No recovery is needed during or after acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide.
The ideal candidate for benzoyl peroxide is someone experiencing mild to moderate acne breakouts.
Not Recommended For
Benzoyl peroxide is typically well tolerated by most however is not recommended for people who have an active rash or skin sloughing in the area to be treated.
Side effects from benzoyl peroxide may include mild stinging or burning, itching or tingly, skin dryness, peeling, flaking, or redness and other irritation. Although the skin develops tolerance to the product after approximately a week, and the symptoms resolve. A small percentage of people are much more sensitive to it and liable to suffer burning, itching, crusting, and possibly swelling.