Benzoyl Peroxide - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Benzoyl Peroxide: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is benzoyl peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is a topical medication that has antibacterial properties and is indicated in the treatment of mild to moderate acne. It acts by killing acne-causing bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide is available in various dosage forms such as gels, lotions, creams, soaps, and face washes in various concentrations viz. 2.5%, 5%, and 10%. It is also available as various fixed-drug combinations with other medications such as adapalene, clindamycin, etc. for treating acne.

What are the uses of benzoyl peroxide?

  • Indicated for the treatment and prevention of acne owing to its bactericidal properties
  • Helps to shed excess oil (sebum) and dead skin cells from skin pores
  • Very effective in the treatment of pimples and inflammatory acne with the typical appearance of pus-filled red bumps such as papules and pustules
  • A combination of benzoyl peroxide and other medications is effective in treating cystic acne by acting on Cutibacterium acnes bacteria
  • Used for treating acne affecting face, chest, and back
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What are the side effects of benzoyl peroxide?

Most of the side effects of benzoyl peroxide resolve on their own over a few days and don? require any medical attention. However, if the symptoms persist for long or get worse, you should inform your doctor.

Common side effects:

  • Itching (pruritus)
  • Skin irritation
  • Burning sensation
  • Application site erythema (redness)
  • Skin peeling
  • Drying of skin

Serious side effects:

  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Angioedema (swelling of face, eyes, tongue, and throat)
  • Difficult breathing
  • Severe dizziness

Further, you can consult our medical experts at Yashoda Hospitals for more information on the occurrence of side effects and their management.


Frequently Asked Questions about Benzoyl Peroxide

1. Does benzoyl peroxide remove acne marks?

Acne scars are usually the remains of acne on your skin. Benzoyl peroxide is useful in killing bacteria and shedding dead skin cells and excess oil from skin pores. It cleanses the skin and can help make acne scars look less prominent. We recommend consulting our skincare experts for the best treatment approaches for acne scars as well.

2. How to apply benzoyl peroxide gel?

The benzoyl peroxide gel is indicated only for topical use. Clean the affected area with soap and water, dry gently, and then gently apply the gel. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to avoid any unintentional application to the eyes or other sensitive parts of the body. Read the label instructions carefully before applying the gel.

3. Can benzoyl peroxide remove dark spots?

Benzoyl peroxide treats acne by killing the bacteria. However, there is limited evidence of its significant effects and uses for removing dark spots. Benzoyl peroxide can potentially make dark spots look less prominent by shedding dead skin cells. You can reach out to our team of skin experts for the best treatment approaches for dark spots and blemishes.

4. How long should I leave benzoyl peroxide on my face?

If you?e using a benzoyl peroxide face wash, work it into a lather and apply it to your face for 10-5 minutes. Then, wash it off with water. If your using a gel, cream, or lotion, apply it to the face for around 150 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with a soft towel. Eventually, you can increase the time and keep it on for a few hours for better results.

5. Does benzoyl peroxide darken skin?

Benzoyl peroxide does not usually darken your skin. Some brown or purplish spots may appear in the acne-affected areas, which are completely normal and part of the healing process. But in rare cases, benzoyl peroxide can cause hyperpigmentation and dark skin. In case you notice darkened skin for a prolonged duration, consult a dermatologist.

6. Is benzoyl peroxide safe?

Benzoyl peroxide is a safe medication at the prescribed dosage or concentration and frequency of application. It can cause a few side effects that usually resolve on their own. However, if the side effects are severe or start to bother you, seek immediate medical care. You can reach out to our medical experts to know the best practices for using various benzoyl peroxide formulations.

7. Can I use salicylic acid with benzoyl peroxide?

Yes. However, take precautions to avoid any possible harmful effects on your skin. The best approach is to use one in the morning and the other in the evening. Alternatively, keep an interval of a few hours between applying these formulations. Once your skin becomes used to it, you can use them together. Keep an eye out for skin peeling or irritation.

8. When to apply benzoyl peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is only for topical use and can be applied once or twice a day. People with sensitive skin can apply it once daily at night. Precautions should be taken to avoid extended exposure to sunlight while using it. Use sunscreen while going in the sunlight.

9. Can you mix benzoyl peroxide and niacinamide?

Yes, benzoyl peroxide can be mixed with niacinamide for better results. Niacinamide, a form of Niacin (Vitamin B3), has anti-inflammatory properties for the skin. This combination has proven to be more effective than benzoyl peroxide alone for treating acne vulgaris. Reach out to our skin experts for qualified advice on using benzoyl peroxide with niacinamide or other products.

10. Is it safe to use benzoyl peroxide while pregnant?

Usually, benzoyl peroxide is not indicated for use by pregnant women. There is limited clinical data to support the safe use of benzoyl peroxide in pregnancy. However, your doctor might evaluate the benefit-risk profile of benzoyl peroxide before prescribing it. You should inform your doctor if you pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, before starting benzoyl peroxide.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.