Benzoyl Peroxide: Does It Work for Acne Treatment?
Benzoyl peroxide has been a trusted treatment for mild acne. It is an over-the-counter product that is used in combination with other acne treatments. It is an active ingredient in most anti-acne creams because of its ability to eliminate the bacteria that causes acne.
How it works
Acne is caused by the bacteria Proprionibacteria acnes. The bacteria causes acne breakouts whenever it resides within the skin’s pores. The skin’s sebum, which is released from the sebaceous glands, is its primary source of nutrition, which is why acne breakouts are more frequent in oily skin.
The presence of the bacteria will also attract the white blood cells towards its site. The white blood cells are the body’s main line of defense mechanism against bacteria. This accounts for the accumulation of pus in the acne, which is the body’s attempt to flush out unwanted organisms.
P. acnes cannot reside in oxygen-rich areas. This is where the benzoyl peroxide comes to play. The product will introduce more oxygen into the skin’s pores which deters the onset of P. acnes.
Aside from its ability to reduce current acne, it can also prevent breakouts from happening. That is why benzoyl peroxide is considered a long-term treatment against acne. A lot of people has incorporated this product into their skin care routines.
Another added benefit of benzoyl peroxide is its ability to unclog pores. This means that the onset of bacteria can be prevented because the skin is able to breathe and be healthy. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness and swelling that typically accompanies acne.
How to use it
Avail a lotion or gel with only 2.5 percent strength. This will gently introduce the product to your skin without irritating it. After 8 to 10 weeks, you may increase the strength of the product.
Apply a thin layer over a pimple or a dried out acne once or twice a day. Also apply it to the areas surrounding the pimples instead of using it as a spot treatment. Because of its active ingredients, it has the tendency to bleach items such as your shirt or your sheets. As such, make sure that it is already dried out before settling into bed for the night.
Possible side effects
Like many acne medication, the product can cause dryness and peeling. You can prevent drought by slowly introducing the product to your skin. Use it sparsely by starting off with applying it every other day. You can increase the dosage over time as your skin gets used to it.
You might also want to couple the medication with moisturizer to prevent overly dry skin and flaking. Another side effect is skin sensitivity. Make sure to apply sunscreen before exposing your skin to sunlight.
There is also a chance that you might be allergic to the medication. Perform a patch test before using the product. Apply a layer of benzyl peroxide on your neck and check for your skin’s reactions. If you notice any swelling, severe redness, irritation, or blisters, consult a doctor.