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Benzoyl peroxide (On the skin)

Benzoyl Peroxide (BEN-zoe-il per-OX-ide)

Treats acne and other skin conditions.

Brand Name(s):

Acne Medication 10, Acne Medication 5, Acne-10, Acne-5, BPO 4% Creamy Wash Complete Pack, BPO 4% Gel, BPO 8% Creamy Wash Complete Pack, BPO 8% Gel, BPO Foaming Cloths, BPO-10, BPO-5, BenzEFoam, BenzEFoam Ultra, Benzac AC, Benzac AC Wash

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to benzoyl peroxide. Let your doctor know if you are allergic to cinnamon or anti-itch skin lotions.

How to Use This Medicine:

Soap, Bar, Liquid, Pad, Gel/Jelly, Cream, Foam, Lotion

  • Your doctor will tell you how much to use and how often. Use only on your skin. Do not get this medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • If you have fair skin, use your first dose of this medicine at bedtime.
  • Rinse the skin areas with water before putting on the cleanser. Wash your face with the cleanser once or twice daily.
  • To use the gel, cream, lotion, or stick: Clean or shave the area on your skin 30 minutes before putting the medicine on. This will prevent irritation from the alcohol. Use your fingertips to put the medicine on. Rub lightly on and around the affected area. Then wash your hands with soap and water.
  • To use the facial mask: Wash your face and dry well. Put on a thin layer of the mask with your fingertips. Let the mask dry for about 25 minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry.
  • Do not get the cream on your neck, or in your eyes, mouth, or nose.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you forget to use this medicine, use it as soon as you remember.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Your medicine should be kept in the refrigerator, but some brands may be kept at room temperature. Check your package label.
  • Keep all medicine away from children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Using PABA sunscreen and benzoyl peroxide together may cause your skin to change color. Ask your pharmacist for a sunscreen product that does not contain PABA.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Benzoyl peroxide may bleach hair or clothes.
  • While you are using benzoyl peroxide, avoid using things that may irritate your skin, such as sunlight, sun lamps, cleansers with alcohol in them, or other acne lotions.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Burning, blistering, swollen, or peeling skin

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry or warm skin
  • Mild stinging or redness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 8/4/2014


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