Benzoyl peroxide - commonly referred to as BPO - is an organic peroxide used in over-the-counter topical Acne drugs.It is often used to treat:
Acne (a disease involving the oil glands and hair follicles of the skin which is manifested by blackheads, whiteheads, acne pimples, and acne blemishes)
Acne blemishes (flaws in the skin resulting from acne), acne pimples (small, prominent, inflamed elevation of the skin resulting from acne)
Blackheads (a condition of the skin that occurs in acne and is characterized by a black tip)
Whiteheads (a condition of the skin that occurs in acne and is characterized by a small, firm, whitish elevation of the skin)
Topical Benzoyl Peroxide acne OTC drugs are permitted in concentrations from 2.5% to 10% when applied and then washed off after brief exposure. BPO is an antiseptic. It prevents acne-causing bacteria from growing and multiplying and dries the skin. Treatment with BPO will help to slough off dead skin cells, making dark spots and scars appear less prominent. During the first 3 weeks you are using benzoyl peroxide, your skin may become irritated. Also, your acne may seem to get worse before it gets better. If your skin problem has not improved within 4 to 6 weeks, check with your doctor.
BPO also helps reduce the bacteria that lead to body odor. It's an acne cleanser — but it's also an antimicrobial cleanser that kills bacteria responsible for underarm and body odor.