Benzoyl Peroxide - Acne Treatment for Clearer Skin

Benzoyl peroxide is a topical medication used to treat mild to moderate acne. It works by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin and helping to unclog pores.
Where to get
Available over-the-counter at pharmacies
Applicable for
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Benzoyl Peroxide FAQ

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Does benzoyl peroxide treat acne?

Benzoyl peroxide is a topical acne treatment. It works as an antiseptic to kill bacteria that cause acne breakouts. It also fights acne by removing excess oil and dead skin cells. You can find it in many over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription products marketed for clearer skin.

How to use benzoyl peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is for use on your skin only. Always wash your hands before and after using this medicine. If your skin becomes dry or starts peeling, try using benzoyl peroxide less often. Put it on once a day or once every 2 days, until your skin gets used to it.

What are the side effects of benzoyl peroxide?

The most common side effect is skin irritation. If this happens it's better to use it less often at first, then build up as your skin gets used to it. Try to avoid strong sunlight while using benzoyl peroxide gel. Use an oil-free sunscreen with SPF30 or above. Ask a pharmacist for advice on which sunscreen is right for your skin type.

Does benzoyl peroxide kill bacteria?

Benzoyl peroxide is a bactericidal substance, which means that it kills bacteria. When a person applies it to the skin, benzoyl peroxide works against Propionibacterium acnes, which are the bacteria involved in causing acne. Unlike topical antibiotic treatments for acne, such as clindamycin, benzoyl peroxide does not lead to antibiotic resistance.

What is benzoyl peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is a commonly used topical treatment for mild acne. It is safe for adults and children and can be used in pregnancy. Benzoyl peroxide has the following properties:

Does benzoyl peroxide irritate skin?

Benzoyl peroxide formulas include skin cleansers, toners, gels, and creams. While benzoyl peroxide is very effective on acne, it can also irritate skin and cause dryness and flaking. In rare cases, an allergic reaction can occur. This article provides step-by-step instructions for how to use benzoyl peroxide for acne.

Benzoyl Peroxide References

If you want to know more about Benzoyl Peroxide, consider exploring links below:

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