Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid - The Dermatology Review

Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid

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09.28.18 AD DISCLOSURE

Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid: Which is Better for Curing Acne?

Individuals who suffer from chronic acne spend a great deal of time trying to figure out which skin care products will clear up their skin, with one common question being if products that contain benzoyl peroxide vs salicylic acid are better for the skin. These two ingredients are the most common for treating acne, but knowing which one to choose can be difficult, especially if you only have a limited understanding about how they work to benefit the skin. If you’re unsure about whether benzoyl peroxide vs salicylic acid is the better choice, then it’s important to learn how each ingredient interacts with your skin, what side effects each may carry, and how these ingredients work to get rid of acne. Knowing the facts is vital before you purchase any acne product in order to prevent an allergic reaction or other secondary skin issues. The benzoyl peroxide vs salicylic acid debate has been going on for some time, but only you can make the best choice once you weigh the pros and cons in your specific situation.

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Salicylic Acid: The Benefits and Drawbacks

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. If you have cystic acne or any other kind of inflammatory acne, this is an important active ingredient. If you suffer from cystic acne, the cells of hair follicles multiply faster and stick together. If you have this type of acne and are trying to choose between benzoyl peroxide vs salicylic acid, the latter may be a better choice because it works to loosen the sebum that clogs pores. It is also important to note that salicylic acid rarely causes other problems, such as redness and peeling.

However, there are drawbacks to using salicylic acid, especially if you need to utilize it on a long-term basis. Some medical professionals who have weighed in on the salicylic acid vs benzoyl peroxide debate claim that this ingredient can damage the skin and its cells, while others assert that the amount of this acid that is in most products is not in a high enough concentration to cause serious damage. The only exception to this may be if you use a product with prescription-strength concentration of this ingredient, and if this is concern for you when it comes to benzoyl peroxide vs salicylic acid, it’s best to consult your doctor before trying a new product.

Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid: the Facts About 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. Benzoyl peroxide also kills bacteria on the surface of the skin instead of just targeting areas with acne. Another advantage of benzoyl peroxide vs salicylic acid is the benzoyl peroxide tends to work more quickly, which means that you may see marked improvement in as little as seven to ten days instead of waiting weeks to see results. Many doctors use benzoyl peroxide treatments with an antibiotic to get rid of acne, as this ingredient does not readily interact with antibiotics.

However, there are some side effects that you need to watch for with salicylic acid vs benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide can cause redness, stinging, peeling, and itching during use, so an acne treatment with this ingredient may not be a good choice if you have sensitive skin. If you’re still unsure about benzoyl peroxide vs salicylic acid for your skin, ask your doctor for advice about which ingredient is best to treat your acne.

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