Benzoyl Peroxide for Adult Acne
Contrary to popular belief, acne is not a condition that affects only teenagers, according to CBS News. Because an adult's skin tends to be more dry than a teenager's skin, not all treatments may be beneficial for adult acne sufferers. However, benzoyl peroxide can kill the bacteria that causes acne blemishes to form, yet is mild enough to reduce acne. Although it's an over-the-counter product, benzoyl peroxide does have some adverse side effects. Therefore, it's important to understand its proper uses.
Acne is a condition that results when the pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. As a result, the bacteria p. Acnes invades the pore and causes the pore to become inflamed. This causes acne lesions. In adults, this manifests itself chiefly as facial or neck--not body--acne, according to dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. A person also may experience acne blemishes, yet have dry or combination skin on the rest of the face.
When benzoyl peroxide is applied to the face, it goes into the pores and kills the p. Acnes bacteria that causes acne lesions. This reduces inflammation in the skin, which improves the appearance of blemishes. With continued use, benzoyl peroxide applications can prevent future outbreaks, according to MayoClinic.com. However, Dr. Graf warns adults to not use too many facial products, which can exacerbate acne--not relieve it. If you utilize benzoyl peroxide to treat acne, refrain from utilizing an excess of products, particularly heavy moisturizers or anti-wrinkle creams.
Because benzoyl peroxide can be drying to the face, it is best applied in concentrations of less than 10 percent, according to Medical News Today. Use a small amount to begin, and over time, gradually apply more to the affected area. Remember, benzoyl peroxide treats acne--it does not cure it. For this reason, it is important to use it over time to prevent acne from forming.
Benzoyl peroxide can be applied in a number of forms and preparations. While 10 percent is the highest concentration that can be purchased over the counter, Dr. Graf recommends adults use a solution of 2.5 percent or less. This can help to eliminate acne blemishes, yet not dry out an adult's skin. Applications include creams, gels, washes and ointments, according to MayoClinic.com.
Benzoyl peroxide also has bleaching effects, meaning it can discolor material that it may come in contact with, such as clothing or a pillowcase, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Apply carefully and allow it to dry. Avoid letting the area of application come in contact with clothing if possible. Other side effects of benzoyl peroxide include irritation and/or dryness. If these symptoms do not subside after a few days, seek medical treatment.
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