What Is Benzoyl Peroxide?

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Benzoyl peroxide is an organic compound that is well known for its acne-fighting properties. Used in acne treatment formulas for over 80 years, benzoyl peroxide can be formulated at concentration levels that vary between the ranges of 2.5% and 10%, though most often at the lower end of the strength range. Both prescription and over the counter acne treatments can contain benzoyl peroxide, which is applied to problem skin areas in a cream or gel solution that clears harmful bacteria from the pores.

How Does Benzoyl Peroxide Work?

Benzoyl peroxide works by peeling away the buildup of old skin cells and sebum that collect in the pores and cause acne. When applied to affected skin areas, benzoyl peroxide releases oxygen that is able to reach deep inside the clogged pore to break down the skin and sebum plug. It is very effective as both an antibacterial and antiseptic agent that quickly and easily kills acne-causing bacteria.

What Are The Benefits Of Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is the most commonly used ingredient for acne treatment. Products that contain the compound are generally cost-effective and are marketed as prescription, over the counter brand name, and generic treatments. Benzoyl peroxide is not only effective in clearing up existing acne but also works as a preventative measure against breakouts that may occur in the future. Those who consistently follow the directions for using benzoyl peroxide benefit greatly from its antibacterial effect on acne and other problematic skin conditions.

Benzoyl Peroxide Side Effects

The side effects that can develop from the use of benzoyl peroxide are usually not serious in nature. These side effects include flaky or dry skin caused by slight damage to skin cells that surround acne. It is possible for some people to experience redness of the skin or a burning sensation while using benzoyl peroxide. In most cases, the side effects that are associated with this acne treatment can be cleared up with an oil-free skin moisturizer or the use of a lower-strength formula. When benzoyl peroxide is used as directed, side effects are not a common occurrence.

Does Topical Benzoyl Peroxide Clear Rosacea and Acne Scars?

Topical benzoyl peroxide is quite effective in healing the prominent red scarring that is associated with skin conditions such as acne or rosacea. The antibacterial properties of this acne treatment keep the skin clear and protected while it recovers from infection and inflammation.