Q&A: Skincare: Peroxide

Breelyn asks: I have used peroxide on my face before and it didnt do anything to my face, but today after I washed my face, I applied the peroxide, and where I applied it, my face became red — but it didnt do that last time.  Am I allergic?

Massagewallah answers:

Were you using plain topical peroxide or a benzoyl peroxide (bp) solution? I wouldnt recommend using just plain peroxide for your face, as it is too harsh for the skin, esp if you are under 18yo.

If you were using bp, redness is a common side effect. If you use the gel or the liquid, just apply where ness. If you are using a creme it is possible to use all over, but try to use only on the effected area.

Another prob could be the dosage and the length of time you left it on. If you are under 18 dont leave it on for more then 10sec. If you dont see any results leave on for longer, not to exceed 25-30 seconds.

Remember that perioxide combats acne vulgaris by drying out the oil in the pore. The reddening indicates inflamation of the top layers of the dermis and/or pores.

It is possible that you could be hypersensative (allergic) to peroxide, so you might need to eliminate peroxide therapy or just reduce the concentration.

This could also be a possible negative reaction to other drugs that you might be using e.g. isotretinoin, clindamycin, etc. Check w. yr pharmicist to if you are using other medications.

Also do not use benzoyl peroxide on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin or on open wounds, as this could further irriate the skin, perhaps causing this redness that you are refering to.
—Avoid abrasive, harsh, or drying soaps and cleansers while using benzoyl peroxide
—Avoid combining PABA-containing sunscreens and benzoyl peroxide.

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