How Benzoyl Peroxide Treats Acne?

How Benzoyl Peroxide Treats Acne?
Published : May 14, 2024
Last Updated : May 15, 2024

Benzoyl Peroxide is an anti-acne agent used to treat mild to moderate Acne. With its antimicrobial properties, benzoyl peroxide prevents the bacteria responsible for Acne. It also clears the pores from blockages by removing dead skin cells that clog them. 

In some cases, Benzoyl Peroxide also treats rosacea (pimples and bumps caused on the face). Benzoyl Peroxide is available in various forms, such as gels, cleansers, and lotions.

You can also buy products containing Benzoyl Peroxide over the counter, and you won't need a prescription. 

Benzoyl Peroxide is an effective acne treatment that is available in different concentrations. 

Benefits of Benzoyl peroxide:

Benzoyl peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria, reduces inflammation, unclogs pores, and prevents future breakouts. It's effective for various acne types, including pimples and cysts.

Treat and prevent pimples:

Benzoyl peroxide works best for inflammatory Acne. Inflammatory Acne appears as red bumps that contain pus—papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts instead of whiteheads or blackheads.

Treatment of Cystic Acne:

Cystic Acne is the most severe and hard-to-treat form of Acne, with deep, hard bumps without prominent heads. Benzoyl peroxide can help by targeting P. acnes bacteria, which is a contributor to cystic Acne. Benzoyl Peroxide, when used especially with prescription medications, can help treat Cystic Acne. For effective treatment, consult a dermatologist.

Remove blackheads and whiteheads:

Blackheads and whiteheads are noninflammatory acne types. While benzoyl peroxide can clear clogged pores, it's not the best treatment for these spots. For better results, consider other options.

Clear acne scars:

An acne outbreak can sometimes leave acne scars. If you have inflammatory Acne, then the chances of acne scars are high even if you successfully resist the urge to pick at the lesions. 

Even the acne scars can worsen due to sun exposure. So, it would be best to wear sunscreen every day before you go under sun rays. In theory, the use of Benzoyl peroxide products may help shed dead skin cells and make the acne scars less prominent. However, research doesn't support its effectiveness against acne scars.

How does Benzoyl Peroxide work for Acne?

Benzoyl Peroxide kills the bacteria responsible for Acne. It also clears clogged pores, sheds excessive sebum (oil), and helps treat Acne, such as pimples, bumps, etc.

How to use Benzoyl Peroxide?

Firstly, choose one Benzoyl Peroxide product according to your preference. Always select a product with a concentration that suits your skin.

Follow these methods while applying different products:

Soaps and body wash: Use it as ordinary soap once or twice a day to prevent breakouts on various body areas, such as the chest, back, etc.

Gels: Benzoyl Peroxide is available in higher concentrations as a gel. You may use Benzoyl Peroxide gels in small quantities only in the affected areas.

Face wash: Benzoyl Peroxide face wash helps prevent Acne, and you may use it twice daily.

Creams and lotions: You can apply Benzoyl Peroxide as a cream on the skin once or twice but regularly.

Side Effects of Benzoyl Peroxide

People mainly experience the side effects of Benzoyl Peroxide at starting. But with time, they go away. The side effects that may appear during use of Benzoyl Peroxide are:

  • Peeling
  • Irritation
  • Itching
  • Dry skin
  • Swelling
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Skin redness

If you experience any severe side effects, inform your doctor.

Safety precautions when using Benzoyl Peroxide with other medicines

  • Using Benzoyl Peroxide with other medication may irritate your skin. Hence, it should not be combined with products that cause skin dryness.
  • You must avoid using alcohol-based skincare products. So, you may prefer choosing skin products for sensitive skin.
  • Also, don't use Benzoyl Peroxide with other medications used for treating Acne. If you use any other, inform your doctor before starting Benzoyl Peroxide.

Precautions and warnings of Benzoyl Peroxide

Keep the below-listed precautions in mind when you are using Benzoyl Peroxide:

  • Patients allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide should discuss it with a doctor before using it.
  • Inform your doctor about all topical medicines and medical history before starting.
  • Avoid sun exposure after applying Benzoyl Peroxide.
  • Use protective clothes and sunscreen when going out under the sun.
  • Discontinue the use and inform the doctor if you experience skin blisters after applying.
  • Breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women should use Benzoyl Peroxide only after discussing it with a doctor.
  • Keep Benzoyl Peroxide away from eyes, lips, nose, and mouth.
  • If you suffer from seborrheic dermatitis and eczema, don't use Benzoyl Peroxide before consulting a doctor.
  • Avoid contact of Benzoyl Peroxide with hairs as it has bleaching properties.
  • Apply moisturizers after an hour after applying Benzoyl Peroxide.

Is Benzoyl Peroxide safe for the long term?

Benzoyl Peroxide is safe for the long term as well. Use regularly to prevent Acne. Otherwise, Acne will come back as you stop using Benzoyl Peroxide products. 

Final lines:

Benzoyl Peroxide is an anti-acne agent used for mild to moderate Acne. It kills acne-causing bacteria and clears clogged pores. Available in gels, cleansers, and lotions, it can also treat rosacea. While effective for pimples and cysts, consult a dermatologist for cystic Acne. Avoid sun exposure and combine it with sunscreen.