What is benzoyl peroxide?

Why is Benzoyl Peroxide used in acne treatment?

Benzoyl Peroxide features on the World Health Organisation’s List of Essential Medicines, and has become a popular treatment for acne as well as bleaching.

Due to its strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin, Benzoyl Peroxide has been recognised as a treatment for acne. The antiseptic quality of the peroxide makes it adept at reducing bacteria on the surface of the skin, as well as whiteheads and blackheads. Another reason for Benzoyl Peroxide’s popularity amongst acne sufferers is it is safe to use in conjunction with products containing salicylic acid. This is a huge bonus for those looking to get rid of their spots as it means they can combine treatments safely and effectively.

Side effects:

In most cases side effects include mild stinging or burning, itching, skin dryness, peeling and redness. Whilst these side effects are common, acne sufferers often feel that in trying to clear their skin, they are in fact doing further damage to it. If you experience a more severe reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling, you are most likely having an allergic reaction to the treatment and should seek medical advice immediately.

Benzoyl Peroxide is also used in teeth whitening and hair bleaching. Those using it before bed should be careful to rub the cream or gel in properly to avoid bleaching pillow cases. A trickier issue is those using benzoyl peroxide as a treatment for chest and back acne, many acne sufferers have complaints about clothes being bleached other colours. Cotton is especially vulnerable to bleaching so avoid this material and make sure the product is absorbed before using white sheets.

Myths:

Is it true that Benzoyl Peroxide makes your skin worse during treatment?

When you're treating your skin with Benzoyl Peroxide it's important to understand how to use your cream or gel. Resist the urge to pile more Benzoyl Peroxide on top of more Benzoyl Peroxide, spots will not disappear any faster with more product, in fact your skin will get worse. If you are using too much cream or gel, skin will become excessively dry and flaky, and some sufferers even report signs of aging.

Does skin get worse after stopping Benzoyl Peroxide treatment?

If your skin becomes too reliant on the treatment your acne may come back worse when you stop using it. It is important to adopt a “little and often” approach so as not to cause undue damage to your skin and make it reliant on Benzoyl Peroxide. Using the treatment once a day sparingly should be enough to improve the appearance of spots.

So if you are using Benzoyl Peroxide in conjunction with other treatments containing salicylic acid, use it sparingly and safely for best results!

This article is intended as general information only. You should seek advice from a professional before starting any new regime or course of conduct.

Tags:
  1. Acne

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