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What is the difference between salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide?

Although both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide medications are used to treat skin conditions, such as acne, they are different medicines. Benzoyl peroxide may be used for mild acne and functions as both a drying agent and bacteria-killer. Doctors sometimes supplement benzoyl peroxide with the stronger salicylic acid, or use salicylic acid separately, for more severe acne. Salicylic acid has peeling properties that benzoyl peroxide does not.

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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.