Video:How Benzoyl Peroxide Treats Acnewith Dr. Deborah Jaliman
Benzoyl peroxide adds oxygen to the skin, killing acne-causing bacteria. However, benzoyl peroxide may not be the ideal acne treatment for everyone. Learn more about treating acne with benzoyl peroxide in this health video from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:How Benzoyl Peroxide Treats Acne
Hi this Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist and author of the book Skin Rules, Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist, here for About.com to talk about how benzoyl peroxide works to treat acne.
Benzoyl Peroxide Increases Oxygen to Clear Pores
Benzoyl Peroxide was one of the first treatments for acne. It is a topical treatment and can be found in any drugstore. It comes in concentrations from 2.5% all the way up to 10%. It's also found in prescription acne medications. It's very effective, but the way you need to use it is to start by using a low concentration so you don't over-dry your skin.
The way benzoyl peroxide works is, first it adds oxygen to the skin. Acne bacteria, called proprioni bacterium acne, or 'p-acnes', doesn't like oxygen. It's a bacteria that can't live in the presence of oxygen. So when the benzoyl peroxide comes in with it's oxygen it kills the p-acnes. The other thing that benzoyl peroxide does is, it actually helps to unclog your pores.
Drawback to Treating Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide
So it has two main ways which it helps to clear up acne. The one side effect of benzoyl peroxide that many people don't like is it actually acts as a bleach. So if you're sleeping on sheets that have any color to them, you will find when you wake up in the morning that the sheets will be bleached. So I always recommend to people using benzoyl peroxide in the evening that they only sleep on pillow cases that are white so they don't ruin their sheets.
The other problem with benzoyl peroxide is some people find it very irritating. It can actually lead to redness and that may be because you're using too high a concentration of benzoyl peroxide. So some of my favorite tricks are to start with a very low concentration of benzoyl peroxide, or to use a non-comedogenic over your benzoyl peroxide so it doesn't irritate you.
Who Should Use Benzoyl Peroxide
But if you find that you are one of these people who wakes up with a red swollen face and your eyes are swelling shut you may be one of the few people that's allergic to benzoyl peroxide and you can't use it. But for many people benzoyl peroxide is a great treatment for acne. If you have acne that's either pimples, pustules, or even blackheads, benzoyl peroxide is a great treatment for you. If you have cystic acne, benzoyl peroxide is not the right treatment for you.
If you have any other questions about how to use benzoyl peroxide as treatment for acne, please visit About.com.