One of the first lines of defense against acne is benzoil peroxide cream, which comes in over-the-counter and prescription strength. It is a keratolytic agent, which means that its main actions are the peeling and drying of acne for faster healing. Since benzoil peroxide also has antibacterial actions, most cases of mild acne will respond to it just as long as proper skin care is adopted to lessen the symptoms.
Warnings Before Use
Of course, you must never use benzoil peroxide when allergic symptoms are developed after the first applications. You will be aggravating your acne symptoms instead of helping heal them faster.
You must also avoid using over-the-counter benzoil peroxide, much less its prescription strength counterpart, under the following circumstances:
- You are planning to become pregnant or you are already pregnant
- You are breastfeeding
- You have known allergies to medicines, foods and other substances like pollens
- You are presently on any form of medications including herbal preparations and dietary supplements as benzoil peroxide cream can adversely interact with the chemicals in these products
Your doctor will be able to change or stop certain medications in order to lessen the side effects from interactions. Besides, you want to avoid any possible complications with benzoil peroxide use especially for the fetus.
Tips on Using
Of course, you must follow the dosing instructions provided by your doctor. Benzoil peroxide may be relatively safe to use but as with any other chemical substances, overdoses can result in adverse side effects. These side effects can include severe allergic reactions of rashes, hives and tightness in the chest.
First, you must only use benzoil peroxide on the skin since it is not formulated for oral consumption. Kids may think of it as toothpaste so keep the cream out of children’s reach. You must also use the medicated wash or cream prefilled sponge applicators contained in the kits to avoid transferring germs from your hands into your facial skin.
If you opted for the wash, you must shake the container well. Then, your skin must be washed with a gentle cleanse before the benzoil peroxide cream is applied. Use only gentle massaging motions on the skin for 10-20 second, rinse with water and then pat dry.
If you have the cream prefilled sponge applicators, you must also wash your face and then pat dry. The cream is then applied on the skin by rubbing the sponge applicator in small circular motions. You have to dispose of the applicator after every use to avoid spreading the bacteria.
You must apply just the right amount of benzoil peroxide cream on the affected area. You will know if you have applied too much cream when a white residue is visible even after washing your face.
Second, you must continue the full course of the treatment even when it seems like your skin has cleared up of acne. When you miss a single dose, don’t make up for it by applying 2 doses. Instead, just skip the missed dose and then revert to the regular dosing schedule.
In a few days’ time, you should be able to see the results. If your over-the-counter benzoil peroxide cream does not work its wonders, we suggest seeing a doctor for a prescription for its stronger (read: higher percentage of the substance) counterparts.