Benzoyl Peroxide for Skin
If you're shopping for acne remedies, you'll find many products that contain benzoyl peroxide as an active ingredient. Benzoyl peroxide--in concentrations ranging from about 2 percent to 10 percent--is a potent medication that can bleach pillows and clothes it comes in contact with. Though it's available over-the-counter, you may want to check with your health care provider before making benzoyl peroxide part of your skin care routine.
Benzoyl peroxide is an antibiotic agent used to treat acne. On its own, benzoyl peroxide treats mild to moderate acne by attacking and oxidizing bacterial proteins that can cause acne. Benzoyl peroxide may also be used in combination with antibiotics and other topical remedies for treatment of more serious acne.
Benzoyl peroxide for skin care comes in several different forms. Use cleansing liquids and soaps to wash the affected skin once or twice a day. Lotions, creams and gels containing benzoyl peroxide should be applied to problem areas on clean, dry skin once or twice a day. If you notice peeling or redness or experience discomfort using benzoyl peroxide, reduce the frequency with which you apply it.
You may need to use benzoyl peroxide for four to six weeks before you begin to notice improvements in your skin. Most people who use benzoyl peroxide notice improvement by the third week of use, but the most comprehensive acne benefits typically show up after eight to 12 weeks of use.
If you're using benzoyl peroxide, you should discontinue use of other skin care products that contain alcohol, astringents or other chemicals that can cause peeling or sensitivity. Since benzoyl peroxide increases your skin's sensitivity, you should also avoid sunlight or sun lamps while you are using it.
If you experience a burning sensation, blistering, swelling or peeling skin after using benzoyl peroxide, call your health care provider immediately. You may also want to check with your health care provider if you notice redness, stinging or warm skin in the area where you apply benzoyl peroxide. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your health care provider before using benzoyl peroxide. If you are allergic to cinnamon or anti-itch lotions, you may be at risk for reactions to benzoyl peroxide.
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