Almost all of the topical treatments for acne available over the counter today contain a substance called benzoyl peroxide. This chemical is very commonly used and it is one of the most effective treatments against acne.
Topical treatment is the first line of defense if you have mild or moderate acne. Using a topical treatment is effective in many cases. Plus, treating acne with topical treatments is quite safe and has few side effects.
Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria. This is how it is effective against acne; it kills the bacteria that cause most breakouts. Generally, any topical acne treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide can be considered to be safe and likely to be effective.
It is highly unlikely it will do actual damage to your skin even if you do react to it with irritation unless used in excessive concentrations to sensitive skin.
1. Benzoyl peroxide may decrease the skin's oil production. Overactive oil glands contribute to acne, because excess oil plugs pores, or hair follicles, and also prevents dead skin cells from sloughing away. A build-up of dead cells further clogs and irritates pores. Blocked pores turn into blackheads or whiteheads, and these can turn into the swollen red pus-filled bumps known as pimples. They also can develop into large painful cysts or nodules under the skin that can cause scarring.
2. Benzoyl peroxide is a topical antibiotic and kills Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes, the bacteria that causes acne and also results in inflammation. P. acnes is anaerobic, meaning it cannot survive in an oxygenated environment.
3. Benzoyl peroxide is an oxidizing agent, and applying this substance moves oxygen into clogged pores and eliminates anaerobic bacteria.
4. Benzoyl peroxide is more effective at eliminating this bacteria than other topical solutions, including resorcinol, salicylic acid and sulfur. Some acne treatment products and systems combine benzoyl peroxide with one or more of these ingredients to increase effectiveness.
5. Benzoyl peroxide is not associated with any major side effects. Because the substance reduces oil production, dry skin as a side effect is common. If skin irritation occurs, it is rarely severe. While benzoyl peroxide decreases skin bacteria, it does not cause bacterial resistance as oral antibiotics do. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide can reduce bacterial resistance that has developed due to taking oral antibiotics as acne therapy.
How to use benzoyl peroxide effectively:
Use this acne cream after washing your face properly. Apply a thin layer only.
Do not use it more than once a day to avoid serious irritation and rashes. Only after using it for a period of time (1 month) can you increase the application to twice a day.
The concentration of the medication ranges from 2.5 percent to 10 percent. For most people, it is already very good to use 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide. Only choose a stronger cream if it is not effective for your acne.