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Acnecide (benzoyl peroxide)

Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger HendersonReviewed on 29.04.2024 | 2 minutes read

Acnecide is a clinically proven treatment for acne which comes as a gel or a face wash. Its primary ingredient is benzoyl peroxide. It is clinically proven to kill up to 95% of the bacteria causing spots.

Doctor’s advice

Who is it for?

Acnecide is for people who have tried lifestyle changes to reduce their acne and have seen no improvement. It is a treatment for mild acne of the face, and is suitable for children and adults. The gel is shown to be more effective than the wash, however, it can cause irritation to the skin. This will often subside within a few days, but is not always the case. The facial wash is more suitable for people with sensitive skin as it has less contact time with the skin, making it less likely to cause irritation.

How does it work?

One of the main causes of acne is bacteria. When benzoyl peroxide (the primary ingredient in Acnecide) is applied to the face, it releases oxygen deep into the pores. This increase in oxygen kills the bacteria which causes acne. Benzoyl peroxide also has a separate mechanism that increases the turnover rate of skin cells, thereby peeling the skin and promoting the healing of whiteheads and crusts.

Should anybody not use it?

This is for the treatment of mild acne of the face, however, if the acne is on other parts of the body or is severe then you should see your doctor. They may prescribe or advise more appropriate treatments. This product may bleach hair and coloured fabrics including clothing, towels and bed linen. Acnecide may cause swelling and blistering of the skin. If any of these symptoms occur the medication will have to be stopped. Prolonged exposure to sunlight or UV radiation should be avoided or minimised whilst using this treatment. When strong sunlight cannot be avoided, patients should be advised to use a sunscreen product and wear protective clothing. If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are breast-feeding, do not use this product unless your doctor has told you that you can.

How do I apply it?

Unless your doctor or pharmacist has told you otherwise:

  • Wash the affected area with a mild skin cleanser and water, and gently pat your skin dry.
  • Apply the gel in a thin layer once or twice a day to all the affected areas.
  • If you have sensitive skin apply the gel once daily before going to bed.
  • Any drying or peeling which may occur to your skin may be reduced if you alter the number of times you apply, i.e. to once a day or once every two days, until your skin adjusts to the product.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 29.04.2024
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