How to Use Benzoyl Peroxide to Treat Acne

When you suffer from acne breakouts, one of the hardest parts of clearing the acne is getting rid of lumps and blemishes on the skin. Blemishes that occur on the skin as a result of acne are filled with oil, dead skin cells or even bacteria. Acne treatments are used to flush out these residues and get rid of the bumps. Benzoyl peroxide is the most common remedies for acne. Available as an over the counter medication, benzoyl peroxide is used to get rid of the residue in the pores and create a clear skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide for Acne  

Benzoyl peroxide is a widely used skin antiseptic. Bacteria that cause acne can live on and in the skin. When you apply benzoyl peroxide, it works to reduce the bacteria in and on your skin. It also acts as an oxidization agent. This means that it helps to increase the circulations of oxygen in the skin pores. This helps to soften the buildup in the pores and makes it easier to remove from the skin. Benzoyl also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. This makes it a perfect remedy for redness and irritation associated with acne.

With continuous application of benzoyl peroxide, you will notice acne lesions clearing. It is also used to clear blackheads, whiteheads as well as pimples. Even so, it does not cure acne. It only works to treat the effects of acne on the skin and to reduce the bacteria on the skin.

Types of Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is available in many forms - lotions, soaps, creams, foam, pad, and liquid. The type of benzoyl peroxide you administer to your skin is determined by the type of acne you have. For instance, if your acne occurs as a face breakout, a soap or face cream may be most ideal. If your acne occurs in small spots, a gel or spot cream can be recommended.

Concentration and Effectiveness 

When you get it as an over-the-counter medication, it is available in different concentrations from 2.5 to 10 percent. The higher the concentration you go for, the higher the level of irritation you are likely to experience. The level of concentration does not guarantee better results. The 2.5 concentration of benzoyl peroxide is just as likely to work as a 10 percent concentration one would.

How to Use Benzoyl Peroxide for Acne

Before you start using, it is advisable to first read the leaflet that comes in the pack. This gives you more info on the product, including possible side effects.

  • It is advisable to use benzoyl peroxide at most twice each day. When starting off, you can go for a 4 percent or 5 percent strength preparation. This ensures you do not experience severe irritation.  If this preparation does not irritate you, you can go ahead and start using the 2.5% concentration product. You can increase the strength preparation with time as you increase the percentage concentration of the products you use.
  • You are required to apply the benzoyl peroxide to the area where there are acne liaisons as opposed to applying it to only the spot.
  • For gels and creams, apply at least 15 minutes after washing the area. Initially, the creams or gels will irritate you and you may want to wash it off after a few hours. You are advised to try and leave it on the skin for as long as possible. Eventually, your skin will get used to the feel of it on the skin.
  • When using a wash, wet the area you want to apply and use the liquid wash to wash the area affected by acne. Allow it to stay for a minute or more before rinsing.

Avoid contact of benzoyl peroxide with sensitive areas of the skin, eyes, nostrils or mouth. Do not apply to open wounds or sore parts of the skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide for Acne: Side Effects

  1. Skin peeling and redness – this is common when you initially start on the treatment but does not last for long. In case you experience this, you can cut the number of times you apply benzoyl peroxide on your skin until the symptoms stop.
  2. Irritation, dry skin, and itching – this can occur when using benzoyl peroxide. If this happens, reduce the frequency of application or cease application for a couple of days. Once the skin recovers, you can resume usage.

In case you see any other symptoms, it is advisable to discontinue use and see a skin specialist.

How to Prevent Acne Breakouts

  1. Keep skin clean – it is important to always keep your skin clean. It is advisable to wash your face twice a day to remove dirt and impurities from the surface. This helps to prevent acne.
  2. Moisturize the skin – a lot of face products are made with ingredients that cause skin dryness. Therefore, it is advisable to use a skin moisturizer that helps to keep the skin hydrated, and this prevents peeling. Go for products that are Noncomedogenic as these are created to prevent acne breakouts.
  3. Using makeup sparingly – if your skin is prone to acne, it is advisable to avoid using too much makeup. When you wear makeup, always ensure you completely wash it off before bed as leaving it on can cause pores to clog. This eventually causes acne. When you have a breakout, avoid using foundation cream, blush or powder.
  4. What you use on your hair – As you focus on what you use on your skin, you also need to focus on what you use on your hair and scalp. Using strong hair products can cause acne in case the products come into contact with your face. Always use skin friendly shampoos and conditioners. If you have long hair, always tie it away from your face. If it has to come in contact with your face, ensure you wash your face when you get home. 
  5. Over the counter products – Just like benzoyl peroxide for acne, these are acne friendly products that do not require a prescription to be bought. Most of them are rich in benzoyl peroxide, lactic acid, and glycolic acid. These help to fight the bacteria that cause skin dryness and acne. Topical retinoid gel is also a good product to consider. It prevents forming of acne.
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