Benzoyl Peroxide For Treating Acne
Benzoyl Peroxide is found in most over-the-counter acne treatments. It comes in many different forms such as a lotion, gel, facemask, cleansing bar or cream. It works best on mild outbreaks of acne. You can get benzoyl peroxide in concentrations of 2.5, 5, and 10 percent. If you want stronger concentrations you will need to get a prescription.
When using it, you should start with the 2.5 percent concentration. Some studies showed that 2.5 percent is not only just as effective as the stronger concentrations at fighting acne, but it is also less irritating. If this concentration doesn’t work then you can try the higher concentration.
How Does Benzoyl Peroxide Work?
Before I tell you how benzoyl peroxide works, let me first explain how acne forms. Acne is caused by a bacterium called propionibacterium acnes (aka P.acnes).Your skin has many P.acnes which is why so many people get acne. If your sebaceous follicles get clogged, then P.acnes will begin to rapidly multiply if you don’t do something to unclog sebaceous follicles.
Lucky for us, this bacterium dies when exposed to oxygen. This is where benzoyl peroxide comes in. It is a chemical which releases oxygen. When you apply it to your acne, it will be absorbed into your pores and it will then release the oxygen in your pores, killing the bacteria.
Are There Any Side Effects To This Medicine?
As with most chemicals there are some mild side effects you should be aware of before using this acne medicine:
1. IrritationIf you notice any irritation you can use it less often. If you get really severe irritation even after reducing how often you use it, then you should stop using it and try something else.
2. BleachingBe aware that benzoyl peroxide is a strong bleaching agent. Make sure your hair doesn’t touch the medicine because it can become permanently whitened.
3. DrynessIt can cause your skin to dry out so if you are using a concentration of 5 percent or higher you may want to switch to a lower concentration such as 2.5 percent.
4. AllergyIf it turns out that you are allergic to benzoyl peroxide, you need to quit using it immediately and ask a dermatologist for some other acne treatment.
Benzoyl peroxide generates free radicals which can cause your skin to become red because of oxidative stress. This is similar to sunburn. When you use it to cure your acne, make sure to avoid overexposure to the sun and be sure to use some kind of sunscreen when you go out in the daytime.
Before using any medications, be sure to consult your doctor. It is better to be safe than sorry.