Benzoyl peroxide is an organic compound used primarily in acne medications. Benzoyl peroxide works as a peeling agent, increasing skin turnover and clearing pores, thus reducing the bacterial count there as well as directly as an antibacterial. It is also used in other topical medications and as a component of acrylates. It is used in the manufacture of some flours and oils
Patients allergic to benzoyl peroxide should make all their health care providers aware of this allergy. The labels of all medications should be examined to avoid those that contain benzoyl peroxide or one of the names listed below.
Direct contact with foods or products containing benzoyl peroxide may cause symptoms including burning, irritation and redness. Direct contact may occur on the skin, lips or mouth. It is possible, but rare, that ingestion of this substance could cause generalized symptoms such as itching or redness of the skin.
Skin contact with benzoyl peroxide is required for it to cause a rash. Discontinuation of exposure to products containing benzoyl peroxide should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. By law, all products made in the US for topical use have the ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of your skin care products for this ingredient. If there is no information, ask your pharmacist or call the company directly. At work, request a material safety data sheet (MSDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.
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