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East Central Indiana

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide

Medications Information: Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxides are helpful agents in treating acne and several other skin diseases. All benzoyl peroxides have the following properties: (1) antibacterial, (2) peeling agents, and (3) decrease surface oil production. Since benzoyl peroxide can be irritating and have other side effects, you should be aware of the following precautions:

1. There will usually be a small amount of redness, burning, dryness and peeling of your skin during the first few weeks of use. If these reactions become uncomfortable or too intense, decrease the use of the medication to every other day, and apply a moisturizing lotion. Stop the preparation if it is too irritating and apply cool compresses. The peeling and redness, if not too intense, will generally decrease with continued use (after about 3-4 weeks).

2. Avoid using the medication near the corners of the eyes and the mouth since these areas can be easily irritated. Be careful not to get the medication in your eyes.

3. If you wash your face before using benzoyl peroxide, it is best to dry your skin thoroughly before applying it, as the medication is more irritating to damp skin.

4. While using benzoyl peroxides, do not use abrasive soaps or cleansers, since these will increase the irritation.

5. All benzoyl peroxides MAY BLEACH COLORED FABRICS, especially cotton materials.

Improvement usually occurs slowly. Do not expect to see any significant change until after six weeks of continued use.  It may take 2-3 months before reaching the medication’s maximum benefits.  Apply to entire face, not just acne bumps, and continue to use, to prevent the formation of new lesions.