Benzoyl peroxide is a peroxide family’s organic compound. It comprises two benzoyl groups joined by a peroxide link. Its structural formula is [C6H5C(O)]2O2. It is one of the very significant organic peroxides in terms of applications and the scale of its production. The uses of the Benzoyl peroxide include acne treatment, for enhancing flour, for bleaching teeth and hair, to polymerise polyester and number of other uses.
Benzoyl peroxide has found a place in the World Health Organization’s “Essential Drugs List“, which is a list of minimum medical requirements for a basic health care system.
Benzoyl peroxide can be found over the counter in gels, cleansers, and lotions, as well as in stronger prescription creams. It is basically a cheap treatment, and is available in both name brands and generic products. All benzoyl peroxide products work in same manner. Benzoyl peroxide is often the initial treatment choice for those suffering from moderate to mild acne.
Uses of benozyl peroxide:
Benzoyl peroxide available in gel or cream form is being used for adult acne treatment by applying to the affected areas in gel or cream form, in concentrations of 2.5% increasing through the commonly efficient 5% to up to 10%.
Research opine that 5 and 10% concentrations are not importantly more efficient than 2.5%, and 2.5% is usually better tolerated, though the majority of major studies in which comparison has been done to other treatments using the higher concentrations.
It commonly causes initial dryness and sometimes irritation, although the skin develops tolerance after a week or so. A small number of people are known to be sensitive to it and liable to suffer itching, peeling, burning, and possibly swelling.
It is rationally good to apply the lowest concentration and build up as appropriate. Once skin shows tolerance towards it, increasing the quantity or concentration and gaining tolerance at a higher level may give better successive acne clearance.
Benzoyl peroxide acts as a peeling agent, raising skin turnover and clearing pores, thus reducing the bacterial count there as well as directly as an antimicrobial. It is frequently joined with sulfur, erythromycin or clindamycin (antibiotics), turning it to a combination drug, in benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin.
It can also be given with adapalene (a synthetic retinoid) in adapalene/benzoyl peroxide, a novel formulation considering most retinoids are deactivated by peroxides and acids.
How it works?
Propionibacteria acnes, or P. acnes, are the bacteria liable for acne breakouts. They cannot survive in an aerobic (oxygen-rich) atmosphere. Benzoyl peroxide acts by launching oxygen into the pore, thereby killing P. acnes. When the bacteria population is lessen, the number of skin breakouts are also reduced as well.
Another factor that makes benzoyl peroxide so effective is its ability to help rid the follicle of excess dead skin cells. Clearing the pore of cellular debris will lower the pore blockages chances, or comedones. Due to this, benzoyl peroxide assists in preventing breakouts before they begin.
The use of benzoyl peroxide frequently must be continued, even after clearing up of acne. Once treatments are stopped, bacterium populations can rise and acne may occur again. Your dermatologist can guide you in determining how long to continue your benzoyl peroxide treatments.
Common Usage Directions:
Benzoyl peroxide makes an efficient treatment for moderate to mild acne. Begin with a lotion or gel in a 2.5% strength. Higher percentages are available but may irritate the skin. Start with a lesser strength to make your skin acclimated to the benzoyl peroxide treatments. Move up to a higher strength if results are not seen after number of weeks.
Most common treatment methods call for a thin layer of benzoyl peroxide lotion to be applied over an entirely dried and cleansed skin. It can be used twice or once daily. Apply comprehensively over all areas affected by acne. Do not use just as a spot treatment. Benzoyl peroxide must be applied to all affected areas of the skin, as it works to stop pimples before they erupt.
Benzoyl peroxide may bleach hair, clothing and towels. Take great care during and after application to avoid letting it come in contact with any of these materials. You may like to wear an old shirt if benzoyl peroxide is applied to the back or body. Let the lotion dry thoroughly after your nightly skin care treatments before getting into bed at night, to avoid bleaching your pillowcase.
Here’s a video on how to apply benzoyl peroxide.
Possible Side Effects of benzoyl peroxide:
The most familiar side effects from benzoyl peroxide are flaking and dryness. These are mild in nature and can be lessen by using an oil-free moisturizing lotion daily. Other side effects include extreme flaking and dryness, burning and redness.
You can lessen the chances of feeling side effects by following all directions on the product package, or those being offered to you by your dermatologist. If unwanted side effects occur, you may want to scale back use to every other day, or use a benzoyl peroxide lotion in a lower strength.
Rarely, severe peeling and redness, itching, extreme burning, swelling and/or rash occur. Should this happen, stop use at once and speak to your dermatologist.
Acne treatment with Benzoyl Peroxide and how it works effectively on adult acne.
- Acts by killing bacteria and lessen follicle inflammation.
- A good choice for people with mild acne
- Available as a liquid (2.5% – 10%), bar (5% – 10%), mask (5%), lotion (5% – 10%), cream (5% – 10%), gel (2.5% – 20%), and cleanser (10%)
- All strengths are available without a prescription.
- Using the 10% or 20% strengths does not necessarily enhance the therapeutic benefit, but raises the skin irritation risk.
- Used once or twice daily
- May cause skin irritation and bleaching of hair or fabrics
- Shall not be used with tretinoin because it inactivates tretinoin