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Benzoyl Peroxide Topical



Benzoyl peroxide topical is used to treat acne on face, chest and back. It is also used to treat acne marks, scars, excessive blackheads and dark spots.

How it works

Benzoyl peroxide belongs to the class of medications called as keratolytic agents. It acts by killing the acne causing bacteria thereby preventing the infection. It also has peeling and drying properties.

Common side effects

Pain, Tingling sensation, Burning sensation, Dry skin, Itching, Skin irritation, Skin peeling, Skin redness


Expert advice

  • It is normal for your skin condition to worsen for the first 2 to 3 weeks of treatment, do not stop using benzoyl peroxide and consult your doctor if symptoms worsen.
  • Avoid exposure to strong sunlight or UV lamps while using benzoyl peroxide. If unavoidable, use a suitable sunscreen lotion and apply benzoyl peroxide in the evening after washing the skin.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes, mouth, nose (especially mucous lining). In case of accidental contact, rinse thoroughly with warm water.
  • Do not apply to damaged skin and exercise caution while applying to the neck and other sensitive areas.
  • Exercise caution if benzoyl peroxide is used as concomitant therapy to avoid irritation to skin. 
  • Avoid contact of benzoyl peroxide gel wash with any coloured material including hair and dyed fabrics as it may result in bleaching or discolouration.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not use if you are allergic to benzoyl peroxide or any of its ingredients.

Frequently asked questions

Benzoyl Peroxide Topical

Q. Does benzoyl peroxide topical darken skin/cause hyperpigmentation/bleach skin?
Benzoyl peroxide topical causes bleaching of skin and hair. It does not darken the skin or cause hyperpigmentation, but it should be best to use it under a doctor’s supervision.
Q. Is benzoyl peroxide a BHA/an antibiotic/retin a/salicylic acid?
Benzoyl peroxide is not a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), antibiotic, retin A or salicylic acid. It is a keratolytic agent with antibacterial actions. 
Q. Is benzoyl peroxide the same as hydrogen peroxide? 
No, benzoyl peroxide is different from hydrogen peroxide.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)