Benzoyl peroxide is a chemical agent that is used to deal with several types of dermatological issues. Most commonly, benzoyl peroxide is employed to treat cases of acne in adolescents and adults. The chemical is found in both over the counter acne medications as well as in prescription formulas.
For advanced skin issues, benzoyl peroxide may be used in conjunction with salicylic acid to correct the situation. Salicylic acid is effective in helping with scales on the surface of the skin and can work with benzoyl peroxide to peel away the top layers of damaged skin to expose the healthy skin underneath. In situations where severe damage to the top layer of skin has taken place, this treatment can accelerate the healing process.
Benzoyl peroxide has proven to be especially effective in helping to remove excess oils from the skin that often clog pores. At the same time, the chemical functions as a pore minimizer that can help to tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of larger pores in areas normally impacted by acne, such as the cheeks and the areas on either side of the nose. Most over the counter acne medications require nothing more than a simple topical application immediately after the face has been cleaned with soap and water.
While the use of benzoyl peroxide is common with many different types of skin conditions, there are a couple of drawbacks. First, the chemical can cause the skin to dry to the point of creating newer skin issues. In addition, some people experience an allergic reaction to benzoyl peroxide that aggravates rather than alleviates acne and similar skin problems.
When over the counter products are not effective in treating acne and other issues, it is often advisable to consult a health professional in the field of dermatology. A qualified dermatologist can assess the situation and determine which of the several prescription medications would be most effective. Like the over the counter products, benzoyl peroxide is found in many prescription formulas, usually in more concentrated amounts. However, it is important to only make use of benzoyl peroxide in strong formulas when diagnosed by a professional and provided with a prescription strength that is appropriate for the condition. Using a product that is stronger than needed will not lead to clearing up the problem any quicker and could cause severe irritation or other skin problems that will be as uncomfortable as the original condition.