Benzoyl Peroxide for Acne

 
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Benzoyl Peroxide Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide (BP) is the active ingredient in many over-the-counter acne treatments such as creams, gels, and lotions. Benzoyl peroxide is an antiseptic, and helps reduce the number of bacteria on the skin, reduce the occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Ideally the cream or gel containing benzoyl peroxide should be applied to the skin about 20 minutes after washing, once or twice per day. Many people find that a six-week course can clear most or all of their acne, although sometimes it is advisable to continue treatment, albeit less frequently, after completing the main course, so as to prevent acne returning.

Benzoyl peroxide does however has some downsides:
  • It should be used sparingly - it can irritate your skin.

  • Benzoyl peroxide makes your skin, and especially your face, more sensitive to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light. If using a medication containing benzoyl peroxide, it's generally wise to avoid too much sun, or weat sun cream.

  • There is a risk of side effects. While the side effects are generally mild and pass once treatment is completed, the possibly side effects do include dry skin, burning/itching/stinging sensation, some peeling of skin, some redness of skin.

  • Benzoyl peroxide can have a bleaching effect on hair and clothes (see picture).

    Clothing stained by benzoyl peroxide



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