Topical Rosacea Treatments
New Treatment Topics
In most cases, using benzoyl peroxide (the active ingredient in Proactiv and other anti-acne products) to treat rosacea isn't going to help, and in fact we have seen it do a lot of damage.
Benzoyl peroxide is an anti-bacterial agent effective against acne bacteria (propionibacterium) which works by releasing peroxide, a free radical, which oxidizes the acne bacteria.
Because rosacea isn't caused by acne bacteria the use of benzoyl peroxide seems unwarranted. Moreover, benzoyl peroxide increases the skin's burden of oxidative stress, promoting inflammation and premature aging.
Although some patients report some benefit from benzoyl peroxide, as with Proactiv users, the benefit quickly gives way to counterproductive side effects, the most common of which are stinging, inflammation, burning, tingling, dehydration and a sallow grey-red skin tone.
Ostensibly, benzoyl peroxide has come to be regarded as effective because published trials of its use have not stretched beyond 8 weeks, an inadequate timeframe for a life-long skin condition.
Rosacea patients frequently have impaired skin barrier function which likely furthers the penetration of benzoyl peroxide leading to the vasodilation which appears to encourage worsening rosacea symptoms.
Author: Peter Wilson.
Reviewed: Tuesday, August 16, 2011.