Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the chemicals used to take care of acne symptoms and can be found in a number of products that can be found over the counter for acne symptom treatment. The types of products can be found in our gels and creams, lotions and various cleaners. In order to maintain a non-prescription status, the concentration of Benzoyl Peroxide in these products sits between 2.5 and 10%.
This is a very effective way of treating acne that is mild and has no inflammation. Unlike other treatments, it is safe to use on children and with other forms of treatment.
Benzoyl Peroxide works by killing off a particular type of bacteria called P. acnes, which are actually the bacteria that causes acne. It also has properties that can help it to prevent the blockage of pores and like other formed of peroxide has an antiseptic and oxidizing property. It is not, however, an overnight treatment so expect to see results in 14-21 days at the earliest.
It also does nothing to increase the body’s immune system therefore if you are prone to acne you should continue to treat areas even after symptoms have disappeared in order to prevent the bacteria from returning.
There are also prescription strength medications, which contain this ingredient. These are used for cases of acne, which have been unresponsive to over the counter treatments. As with any medication, be sure to read and follow all directions and warnings before beginning use. If you notice, any symptoms or side effects, which are cause for concern, contact your doctor. Some acne medications should not have a sudden treatment termination so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Side effects you may notice while using this product
If you are using an over the counter medication you are looking at a concentration of between 2.5 and 10%. Even in this low concentration, Benzoyl peroxide can cause dryness in the skin. It is the most common side effect of this medication. It usually is not a cause of irritation and an oil-free light moisturizer should alleviate the problem. Lower concentrations can also help, if you experience an issue with dryness, stop using the product, allow your skin to recover and then try a new product with a lower concentration.
Skin irritation can occur if this occurs simply decrease use if it still continues to stop using the product.
If you experience dry, red, itchy skin, discontinue use as this may be a sign of an allergy and treat with anti-itch cream.