What are the side effects of benzoyl peroxide use?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
The main limitation of benzoyl peroxide for some acne patients is concentration-dependent stinging, irritation of the skin, contact dermatitis, dryness, and bleaching fabric or hair it comes in contact with. The irritant/contact reaction in the skin is seen as redness, scaling and itching, or burning. These side effects usually occur within the first days to weeks of treatment and improve with continued use of the product. It is known to bleach hair, clothes, and bed linens that it comes in contact with, and this must be taken into consideration as a risk when this treatment is considered.
100 Questions & Answers About Acne

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100 Questions & Answers About Acne

100 Questions and Answers About Acne provides you with all the information you need to manage your complexion problems. Written by Dr. Doris J. Day, a world-class expert in the field, this clearly...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Benzoyl peroxide will dry out your skin so be sure to follow it with a good moisturizer. Beyond the drying, it could cause burning, itching, rashes or swelling.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.