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Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment - The What, Why And Direction For Use

Mar 21, 2008
What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is a vital chemical ingredient in numerous over-the-counter topical products for treating acne. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most recommended and widely used acne treatments.

Benzoyl peroxide is made available in gels, creams, lotions, and cleansers. It is an economical treatment, frequently used by acne sufferers. Benzoyl peroxide is the initial treatment of mild to moderate acne.

Why Use Benzoly Peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide primarily works as an oxidizing agent, which allows oxygen to penetrate through the pores and into the skin, creating an oxygen-rich (aerobic) environment. Hence, Benzoyl peroxide is an antiseptic as it indirectly kills Propionibacterium acnes - the culprit for acne outbreaks. As this medication reduces the quantity of bacteria on the surface of skin, it does not however trigger bacterial resistance or adverse reaction to antibiotics. Moreover, Benzoyl peroxide also deters the multiplication of yeasts on the skin.

These bacteria cannot survive in such aerobic surrounding. Consequently, the reduction on the number of bacteria also reduces the occurrence of acne outbreaks. Additionally, as an oxidizing agent, Benzoyl peroxide dries off the thickened fluid or sebum and helps in alleviating the clogged pores so the acne lesions may heal without causing trauma (caused by squeezing or popping out the acne) to the affected area.

Benzoyl peroxide also acts as an anti-inflammatory medication that reduces the swelling and inflammation of infected pustules and papules, thus relieving the individual from the tenderness and soreness brought about by acne breakouts. This acne treatment medication is most effective when used with an exfoliator that also has Bezoyl peroxide content.

Benzoyl peroxide is also especially effective because it can help clear the follicle of excess cellular debris, minimizing the possibility of clogged pores, or comedones.

Just like antibiotics, Benzoyl Peroxide must be continuously used, even after the symptoms (acne) disappear. Stopping the treatment on the wrong time may exacerbate the condition. To determine the duration of Benzoyl Peroxide usage, your dermatologist is the best person to seek for consultation. The length of time that the treatment should be continued primarily depends on the severity and extent of acne.

Direction for using Benzoyl Peroxide

The skin must be thoroughly washed and dried before applying a fine coating of Benzoyl Peroxide on the affected skin areas. This can be done 1 to 2 times everyday.

Benzoyl Peroxide can bleach hair, clothing, and towels. Thus, the medication should not touch these materials right after application. Rather, allow the medication to dry completely to prevent bleaching your clothes, pillowcases, towels, and the like.

Benzoyl Peroxide, like any other medications, also has some side effects. Effects that generally do not need medical attention include dryness, mild burning, flaking, and photosensitivity. However, if these side effects worsen, or swelling or crusting occurs, medical help should immediately be sought. Although following the package insert directions, or the instructions from your dermatologist can help reduce the possibility of unwanted side effects.

Benzoyl Peroxide is indeed considered to have a magical touch, especially for those who are suffering from worse acne condition. But for it to become as effective as it should be, certain precautions must be considered and specific directions must be followed.
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