Benzoyl peroxide is the chemical substance, used for over 30 years to cure acne. After all these years, this substance is still found to be the most common compound in acne skin care products, because of its efficiency. Most doctors and dermatologists will recommend some OTC (over the counter) medications or prescribe some benzoyl peroxide creams, if you have mild to moderate acne. More severe cases will usually be treated with some other substances and products.
Consult your dermatologist about the possible treatments and then decide the best therapy for your acne. Ask your doctor about potential problems when using products with benzoyl peroxide and follow the recommendation or prescription.
How Benzoyl Peroxide Works
In most cases, acne is caused by anaerobic bacteria known as Propionibacter acnes (P.acnes). These bacteria need anaerobic (without oxygen) surrounding to grow and multiply. Benzoyl peroxide, as the chemical anti-acne ingredient, will introduce oxygen to the pores, decreasing the number of present bacteria and reducing the acne. Only problem might be the duration of the treatment, because, once the treatment with benzoyl peroxide is stopped, harmful bacteria might grow again and cause acne. Consult your dermatologist about the period of use if these benzoyl peroxide products, for the prolonged use may be the cause of some side effects.
Benzoyl Peroxide Adverse Effects
There are several common adverse effects happening to people using benzoyl peroxide. Most of the side effects disappear when the skin gets used to this substance, but the caution is necessary. People using these products might experience irritation, redness and dry skin, but also some peeling of the skin. Certain amount of the patients using benzoyl peroxide creams might feel the pain or experience inflammation of the skin.
Rarely, there are more severe adverse effect, including the formation of blisters or crusting on the skin, burning, stinging and feeling of warmth. Serious rash and red bumps could also be caused by the use of benzoyl peroxide preparations.
Another possible problem is the allergy to benzoyl peroxide. Thus, this substance might be responsible for itching, hives and skin rash, but also for some more serious reactions, such as: swelling, dizziness, tightness in the chest and breathing problems. If you haven’t used these products, the general rule is to apply a small amount of the cream on your arm, and wait for a day or two. The cream or lotion containing benzoyl peroxide is safe to use on the face if there was no reaction on your arm. Avoid these products if you are allergic to benzoyl peroxide.