Acne treatment: Benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid


Acne can’t be cured, but it can be controlled with treatment. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can help you reduce inflammation of acne and keep them at bay.

Why do acne products have benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid?

These chemicals are helpful in reducing inflammation and clearing up acne spots. They can inhibit sebum production, limit bacterial growth, encourage the shedding of skin cells and unclogging pores.

Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid belong to the most common acne treatment group. They are both excellent acne fighters, and definitely the most affordable treatments on the market. Almost any drugstore acne treatment is going to have one or the other. But it’s impossible to tell from the bottle which product is going to help clear up your specific acne. If you end up with the wrong one, it can actually make things worse.

How to treat acne with salicylic acid? 

One of the biggest advantages of salicylic acid is its ability to exfoliate the skin without causing inflammation and calming any existing redness or swelling that you may be currently experiencing. For milder acne, salicylic acid can help unclog pores to resolve and prevent lesions. It does not have any effect on sebum production and does not kill bacteria. You may need to use salicylic acid product continuously, just like benzoyl peroxide, since its effects may stop when you stop using it. Salicylic acid is available in many acne products including lotions, creams and pads.

However, there are drawbacks to using salicylic acid, especially if you need to utilize it on a long-term basis. Salicylic acid can damage the skin and its cells  if you use a product with prescription-strength concentration of this ingredient.

How to treat acne with benzoyl peroxide? 

When medical professionals talk about benzoyl peroxide vs salicylic acid, they usually point out that benzoyl peroxide is the more powerful of the two, as it fights all different types of acne, from cystic bumps and lesions to blackheads whiteheads. It’s believed that this compound works by killing the bacteria associated with acne and by preventing dead skin cells clogging pores.

Like all acne treatments, it will not magically cure your acne. It can take at least four weeks to show result. You need to stick to the treatment once the acne has cleared to help keep acne at bay until you outgrow getting acne.

Benzoyl peroxide is available in a wide range of forms: creams, lotions, washes and gels. Keep in mind that benzoyl peroxide can cause dry skin and can bleach fabrics, so take care when applying it.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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