Role of Benzoyl Peroxide in Acne Medication

Benzoyl peroxide is immensely popular among acne sufferers throughout the world for decades. It is regarded as one of the most successful acne treatment medications for many people who used to be suffering from this traumatic skin disorder.

If you are experiencing sudden acne breakout and looking for a perfect selection of medicine, then benzoyl peroxide could be a right choice for you.

But, before taking any decisive action in this regard you should know more about this chemical and its role in acne preventive measure.

What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

It is an organic chemical containing one peroxide linkage and mainly works as a radical initiator, which triggers further reaction with acne-causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes. It is the principal ingredient of almost all over-the-counter and prescribed topical acne medications, especially for mild to moderate acne cases.


How it Bring the Miracle?

The main purpose of using this chemical is to utilize its oxidizing property. The peroxide linkage of benzoyl peroxide breaks down to yield oxygen radicals, which in turn generate an aerobic environment (high oxygenic environment) in the vicinity of skin surface and inside the pores and hair follicles.

What is Benzoyl Peroxide

The P. acnes bacteria, which reside at the skin surface and inside the pores and hair follicles and feed on the sebum (body generated oil), are believed to be the main reason behind the occurrence of this harrowing skin disease. P. acnes bacteria puff up hair follicles mixing with excess sebum and piled up dead skin cells.

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Thus it causes inflammation within the acne pimples and pustules. In the presence of benzoyl peroxide these aerotolerant bacteria react with the oxygen radicals and succumb to the aerobic environment of the skin. In this way this enormously popular chemical helps in bringing down the proliferation of P. acnes and eventually sweeps them away entirely.

As this medication does not act like an antibiotic, it won’t loose its activity toward P. acnes after prolong use. Although benzoyl peroxide annihilates acne causing bacteria residing on the skin surface, it does not boost the natural resistance system of human body.

Therefore, you should keep on applying this medication over your skin surface even after the acne breakouts are disappeared. Otherwise, in absence of benzoyl peroxide again P. acnes might turn up to deluge your skin with acne rashes. Take the suggestion of your dermatologist to decide how long to continue your medication with benzoyl peroxide.

Benzoyl peroxide also serves to clear up the clogged pores by removing the dead cell debris and dirt particles, thereby diminishing the chance of further acne show up.


How would You Get Benzoyl Peroxide?

Global market is flooded with innumerous topical acne medicines which contain benzoyl peroxide as the major component. These are available in the form of cleansing lotions, cleansing gels, cleansing bars, creams, facial masks, and sticks, or in its generic form. Although any of these could be easily purchased over the counter, however, it is strongly suggested that benzoyl peroxide should be applied only as per your skin specialist’s direction. Most of the products come with the strength of 2.5 to 10%.

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After purchasing from pharmacies go through the instruction for the treatment carefully.

General Course of Usage

Always it is preferable to start with a mild product with 2.5% concentration so that your skin get acclimatize with the treatment process of benzoyl peroxide. You could always increase the strength gradually if results are not satisfactory or as per health care professional’s advice.



Before applying the medication once or twice a day, cleanse your skin by an appropriate cleanser with great care and afterwards pat dry properly. Put on a thin layer of the medication thoroughly over all the acne affected area, so that the possibility of pimple formation is nipped in the bud.

Although within first few weeks of treatment you might not see any improvement, as it might take 8 to 12 weeks before you could realize the positive impact of this chemical. If there is no sign of improvement after 4 to 6 weeks, then immediately consult with your dermatologist.

Beware about the Common Side Effects

You should be well informed about the following facts before opting for benzoyl peroxide medication:

  1. It might cause slight dryness of your skin. It would be alright if you use a mild and oil free moisturizer after applying benzoyl peroxide.
  2. You might experience a mild irritation. Try to reduce the frequency of usage.
  3. If your skin is sensitive toward this chemical, you might face allergic symptoms or reddish inflammation. In such occurrence stop using this at once and consult with the medical practitioner.
  4. Benzoyl peroxide might bleach your colored fabric or hair. While employing this acne treatment try not to allow your hair or clothing to come in touch with this medication.
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