How Does Benzoyl Peroxide Treat Acne

(Last Updated On: November 24, 2015)

Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment

What Is Benzoyl Peroxide? 

benzoyl peroxide gelBenzoyl Peroxide (a mild bleach) is a topical medication that when applied to the skin works to kill the bacteria that causes spots.

It has 3 main methods of action;

  • Helps To Kill Bacteria
  • Clear Blocked Pores
  • Reduces Inflammation And Redness

It is often found in many over the counter acne face washes and creams.

You can also get benzoyl peroxide in its own right, which is available in various strengths.

doctor examining patients skinThe higher strength preparations will require a prescription but lower strength preparations are available from pharmacies without a need for prescription.

Benzoyl Peroxide is often used in conjunction with other medicines such as antibiotics or retinoids as the combination of the two are believed to be even more effective.

How Is Benzoyl Peroxide Used?

Benzoyl Peroxide is applied to and around the affected areas, usually once to twice a day. Use sparingly, using too much will not clear your skin any faster and may lead to irritation.

Popular Treatments Using Benzoyl Peroxide

Duac Once Daily Prescription Only

EpiduoPrescription Only

PanOxyl – Over The Counter

Acnecide – Over The Counter

Side Effects Of Benzoyl Peroxide woman with peeling skin

The unfortunate thing about Benzoyl Peroxide is that while it is highly effective, it can have some unpleasant side effects that include:

  • Peeling And Dryness Of The Skin
  • Burning and Itching Of The Skin
  • Marked Redness and Inflammation
  • Sensitivity To The Sun 

In some individuals these side effects are so severe that even if their spots are clearing they end up having to discontinue use of Benzoyl Peroxide. 

Benzoyl Peroxide can also bleach clothing, hair and fabrics, which is another thing to bear in mind if you decide you want to try Benzoyl Peroxide.

Those with sensitive skin should use Benzoyl Peroxide with caution and start off with the lowest possible dose.

How Long Does Benzoyl Peroxide Take To Work?

Any acne treatment takes time to work so it is recommended that Benzoyl Peroxide is used for at least 12 weeks, in this time there should be a noticeable improvement in your symptoms.

Alternatives To Benzoyl Peroxide

acne cream on fingerBenzoyl Peroxide works and for some, it can be a great treatment and doesn’t cause troublesome side effects, but for some individuals, traditional treatments containing Benzoyl is just too caustic.

For gentler, effective and non-prescription acne options,

Why Not Check Out…

Our Recommended Acne Treatments In Ireland












The information in this website is for advice and guidance only. It is based on my own intensive research and personal experiences, and is not intended in any way to replace professional medical advice, or to diagnose or treat any health conditions. All rights reserved.