A benzoyl peroxide wash helps treat mild to moderate acne by directly killing the acne-causing bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes. It is also known to offer benefits such as treatment of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples, and clearing away of dirt and excess oils in the skin.
Benzoyl peroxide differs from other antibiotics in killing the bacteria instead of altering its shape and slowing it down. This prevents the bacteria from developing resistance to the medication, and helps manage breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide is an oxidizing agent that effectively works in eliminating the anaerobic P. acnes bacteria. After reducing the amount of bacteria, the medication causes the skin to dry and peel off. Benzoyl peroxide also helps clear excess sebum and prevents blockage of pores and hair follicles.
Benzoyl peroxide wash is available in different forms, such as cleansers, foams, lotions, creams and gels. Skin cleansers containing benzoyl peroxide help treat pimples before they form. The treatment allows removal of dead skin cells that clog and irritate the pores.
A number of products containing benzoyl peroxide are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. It is best to consult a doctor or pharmacist before buying, to know the right choice of product. It is also important to check whether the user is allergic to benzoyl peroxide.