If you suffer from persistent acne, your doctor may first recommend using a mild acne medication containing benzoyl peroxide. If your acne is mild, you’re the best candidate for this medication–it’s not as harsh as other medications and is usually less expensive, depending on which brand you use.
Use Lower-Strength Medications First
It may be tempting to use a strong benzoyl peroxide medication at first, but you’ll do your skin more harm than good. Using high-strength medications right away can irritate your skin, causing excess dryness, flaking, redness, or a burning sensation. Start by using a lower-strength gel containing around 2.5 percent of benzoyl peroxide, and if you don’t see improvement after a few weeks, ask your doctor for a stronger medication.
Use Benzoyl Peroxide Regularly on Acne-Prone and Clear Skin
Depending on the directions given by your doctor, you may have to apply this acne medication once or twice daily. Never skip any days–benzoyl peroxide isn’t an immediate treatment and works continuously to kill the bacteria that causes acne. Think of it as an antibiotic: You have to keep using it even if you look fine. Having clear skin doesn’t necessarily indicate the bacteria is gone, so use it daily as prescribed, regardless of how your skin looks. Also remember to apply it all over your face, not just where acne commonly occurs because the acne-causing bacteria isn’t just localized to the pimples on your face.
Benzoyl peroxide won’t work if you wipe it off before it’s fully absorbed, so make sure to allow it to air-dry. Your face shouldn’t feel wet once it’s fully absorbed. Also make sure to let it dry before sleeping–if the acne medication rubs off on your sheets or pillow, it can accidentally bleach them.
Keep Benzoyl Peroxide Away From Your Eyes
The skin around your eyes is thin and sensitive–not a good combination with a chemical acne medication such as benzoyl peroxide. When possible, apply the solution away from your eyes, making sure to wipe any accidental residue away with your finger or a soft towel. Be careful not to rub the solution in your eyes. If this occurs, seek medical attention.
Remember to always listen to your doctor’s advice first when it comes to using acne medication. This advice is only meant to be educational and should not be considered a substitute for advice given by your local health care professional.