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Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid to treat acne

Treating acne can be a frustrating and expensive task. You may be wanting to save money on acne treatments and avoiding visiting a dermatologist. However, traditional, gentle methods of acne treatment such as avoiding oily foods, face washing, and reducing stress just aren't working. Where do you turn if you are still reluctant to see the dermatologist? There are a couple of over the counter treatments that are more effective at acne treatment.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is available over the counter in the form of face washes, soaps, topical creams, and gels - creams and gels being the most common. Benzoyl Peroxide is used directly on the affected areas. It acts as a peeling agent-increasing the rate of skin replacement and cleaning pores. Faster skin turnover and cleaner pores means fewer bacteria in and on the skin, lessening bacteria caused acne.

It should be noted that Benzoyl Peroxide can cause dryness and irritation. To reduce the chances of irritation, use a cream or gel that uses 2.5% concentration because studies show that a 2.5% concentration is not significantly less effective than 5 or 10% concentrations. Your skin will become more tolerant to Benzoyl Peroxide over time and if you feel that you can move to a higher concentration without adverse effects, feel free to do so.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is most commonly found in pads, shampoos, washes, and gels. Like Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid is a shedding agent. Releasing skin cells also releases bacterias that they harbor. Salicylic Acid also reduces pore diameter, allowing new cells to grow around the pores - preventing the pores from becoming clogged again. Finally, Salicylic Acid is a mild antibiotic, so it is effective in fighting bacterias that are common causes of acne.

Salicylic Acid should be avoided in zinc deficient individuals as it could cause hearing loss. Also, on individuals under 19 years of age, Salicylic Acid should not be used to treat acne if the person is also experiencing fever due to illness. There is data to suggest that Salicylic Acid in this scenario could lead to the development of Reye's Syndrome.

Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid are two very effective ways to treat acne if more gentle approaches are simply not effective. Of course, see a dermatologist if they do not work or of they produce undesired results.


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