Benzoyl peroxide is a strong keratolytic drug besides having other properties as antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It is one of the most used drugs to treat acne.
A keratolytic substance is one that has the property to dissolve the corneous layer , that is, the outermost layer of the skin. By dissolving this layer, it softens the keratin, a protein rich in sugar that is the fundamental part of the outermost layers of the skin and other tissues.
We will see what acne is , because that way we will understand better why benzoyl peroxide is effective in this situation.
What is acne?
Many times We have heard the term acne or have even suffered it. When they tell you that someone has acne, you associate them with teenage boys or girls. What we do not know is why it appears and how it develops.
Well, the acne is a common skin disease, As you well know, it appears in the form of pimples, pimples specifically. Now, do you know how those pimples are formed?
The s pimples are formed when the hair follicles are plugged since they increase the keratin in the sebaceous duct and increase its synthesis. This pimples that are formed usually leave scars if they are not properly healed.
Acne is also known as common acne or acne vulgaris and is a more common disease in adolescents and in young adults, although anyone can have it. In truth, it is not known exactly what is the cause of its development, but it is very likely that it is linked to hormonal changes.
It is a disease that it is spread all over the world and that, as has been said, affects individuals between 12 and 24 years old. 85% of adolescents are affected by acne and in those older than 20 years, it is more frequent in women than in men.
The Main causes that can trigger acne They are:
- Increase in sebum production and hyperplasia, that is, a large increase in size of the sebaceous gland.
- Abnormal desquamation of keratinocytes.
- Presence of Propionibacterium acnes , microorganism that produces inflammatory and postulose lesions.
Then We explain the following characteristics of benzoyl peroxide:
- Mechanism of action.
- Adverse reactions.
How does benzoyl peroxide work?
Benzoyl peroxide is a drug that acts as an exfoliant, increasing the speed of replacement of the horny layer of the skin, cleaning the pores and reducing the number of bacteria for its antiseptic action. Especially effective against Propionibacterium acnes.
As It also has anti-inflammatory properties, And although it is effective for almost all forms of acne, it is mainly used for inflammatory acne.
Nevertheless, the mechanism of action of benzoyl peroxide is not clearly known, but as we have said, its main mode of action takes place thanks to its activity antibacterial against P.acnes .
Patients who are treated with this drug show a reduction in lipids and fatty acids in addition to a moderate desquamation, that is to say, that dries and exfoliates the skin
Pharmacokinetics and administration
Not much is known about percutaneous penetration, metabolism or excretion of benzoyl peroxide. However, yes you have data about part of your metabolism Once it is approached percutaneously.
The cysteine that has in its structure it is metabolized into benzoic acid and in free radicals of oxygen. These are the ones in charge of acting at the cell wall level of the bacterium, the P.acnes . Once metabolized, it is excreted in the form of an ester, in benzoate, in the urine.
As it has been said, It is applied on the skin, topically. It must be applied between once and twice a day depending on the intensity of the disease and the tolerance of the skin to the drug. Before applying benzoyl peroxide, it is necessary to wash the skin with water and mild soap.
If you are allergic or allergic to benzoyl peroxide or any component thereof, its use is contraindicated.
In frequent that with the habitual use of this drug, once administered the patient notice a slight burning sensation and, a few days later, a moderate redness appears. In addition, this redness is usually accompanied by dryness and cutaneous desquamation .
Nevertheless, it is not usually harmful and it usually goes away after stopping treatment in one or two days.
In general, it is a safe drug that does not produce serious allergic reactions, and the reactions that can appear at the beginning, disappear spontaneously.
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