Talk:Benzoyl peroxide

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Can this be clarified?[edit]

"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." Reducing baterial count where? It may be restated as "Benzoyl peroxide works as a peeling agent, increasing skin turnover and clearing pores. This mode of action may reduce acne symptoms, as well as by acting as an antibacterial". (I would change it myself, but I'm not sure that was the original intent, and there's no citation.)--Ryuns (talk) 01:30, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Some questions[edit]

Requesting chemical properties of Benzoyl peroxide. Could not find any factual properties anywhere. -Masterhomer

Shouldn't Benzoyl peroxide be more under a drug then a chemical? So rather then have a chembox won't a drugbox be better? If no disagreement will do it shortly. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Crislee 88 (talkcontribs) .

Well, it does have other uses, e.g. as an industrial catalyst for radical polymerization, and the chembox looks pretty good to me, but if you can make the drugbox look just as good I'd be fine with that. Go for it. —Keenan Pepper 15:50, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Am teaching an organic chem lab using benzoyl peroxide and will see if I can't align the page a little more towards organic chemistry. Menswear 15:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
OK. The page is changed like it is. I'll check back in some unspecified while to see if there has been a source provided for the mutanogenic/carcinogenic at low concentrations company fact. I did change it from "found to not be" to "not found to be". Added to "appurtenances" in wiktionary too! Menswear 16:48, 1 September 2007 (UTC)


can someone explain this line?: "Half-life is 140 hours at 50°C. At 90°C it is already only 1 hour" I thought half-life was only for radioactive material —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mdk0642 (talkcontribs) 01:52, 27 January 2007 (UTC).

No, half life can be applied to anything which is undergoing depletion, normally by a decay mechanism. Also, the "solubility" physical parameter is given as "poor". This doesn't make sense unless it is specified what solvent is being referred to.-- 06:55, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Just curious, could we preface this with a "This substance tends to decompose quickly in heat. ... rest of section" to the section? Just to clarify, because I asked myself what the point of the section was, and simply stating it might make it easier reading thanks! wubrgamer (talk) 23:52, 24 September 2008 (UTC)


is it possible for this cream to scar the face after severe burning has taken effect?

Anything can theoretically happen, but I've never heard of such a thing. Some people are allergic to it, but I've never, ever heard of a permanent scar forming at therapeutic concentrations. Normally, the absolute worst you could get would be a very superficial burn which heals without any problems. The chemical decomposes at the very surface of the skin, so deep burns necessary to causes scarring are essentially unheard of.WolfKeeper 00:10, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Consuming the compound[edit]

If someone has the knowledge, can they please show results if one were to ingest such a chemical formulation. There just appears to be a burning curiosity of mine, to as the causes of doing such a thing can lead to, in relation to the long-term effects or how other organs / parts of the body react negatively. Tk Dailly Rubbings 15:51, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, they put it in cake and pastry flour (Five Roses in Canada). Not very much of it though. I do wonder if it's harmful. -- 18:05, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Removed uncited claim[edit]

I removed this bogus claim that a) benzoyl peroxide removes the top layer of skin, b) benzoyl peroxide and sunscreen together can work as an anti-aging treatment:

Benzoyl peroxide removes the top layer of skin, which also decreases the sun protective effect (roughly SPF 3). This can cause sunburn and premature aging if sun protection is not worn. If sun protection is used, benzoyl peroxide has effects similar to glycolic acid peels which are so-called anti-aging treatments.

dearly (talk) 17:20, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Um. That is what it does though.- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 17:48, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Alright, but it should still be cited. Sounds like a bogus claim to me dearly (talk) 21:36, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing additional labeling (warnings and directions) for all topically-applied acne treatment products containing benzoyl peroxide. The warning advises consumers to avoid unnecessary sun exposure and to use a sunscreen when using a benzoyl peroxide product to treat acne..."

It's not an anti-aging treatment, but it does similar things to glycolic peels and temporarily sensitises the skin to UV.- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 17:48, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
That's why all the BP packaging recommends the use of sunscreens.- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 17:48, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it's pretty well documented that it makes your skin more susceptible to UV damage and sunscreen would prevent that to an extent. But as an anti-aging treatment? I have my doubts dearly (talk) 21:40, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Removed advertisement-laced external reference[edit]

Ligart (talk) 02:31, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Irrelevant/Misleading Claim[edit]

"Benzoyl peroxide breaks down in contact with skin, producing benzoic acid and oxygen, neither of which is significantly toxic."

If the chemical is a possible mutagen (as stated earlier in the article) the safety of its breakdown products is not relevant and serves only to lull the reader into a false sense of security. For example, hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen, two substances that are harmless, but prior to its decomposition it is corrosive, carcinogenic and toxic. (talk) 00:12, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Hydrogen peroxide is toxic and carcinogenic? Can you provide evidence that supports this claim?

User: seems to have chemophobia about Reactive_oxygen_species - "a normal product of cellular metabolism". Non-cell produced hydrogen peroxide would react with basically any organic material long before it found its was about to damage DNA, and IARC classifies it as Group 3 - "not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans". From: href=" Hydrogen Peroxide Toxicological overview. Its toxicity depends on the strength and amount - 30% solutions using in wood bleaching are corrosive enough to char dirt. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:34, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

2.5 is as effective[edit]

This statement is not supported:

Research suggests that 5 and 10% concentrations are significantly more effective than 2.5%, but 2.5% is usually better tolerated.[5][6]

Reference 5 states in the abstract:

The 2.5% benzoyl peroxide formulation was more effective than its vehicle and equivalent to the 5% and 10% concentrations in reducing the number of inflammatory lesions (papules and pustules).

6 only compares 2.5 and 5%, and states both are highly effective (I don't have access to the full text, however). Here's a 2009 reference supporting equivalence:

I'm changing this later if no one raises any objection. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jkom329 (talkcontribs) 20:30, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

The following needs be reconsidered. The treatment algorithm described may not be desirable for reasons above. In general, why increase if 2.5% is found to be as effective as higher concentrations with less irritation? Also, BP's primary mechanism of action is anti-bacterial, and this should be emphasized over its mild desquamation and possibly sebostatic effects.

"It is sensible to apply the lowest concentration and build up as appropriate. Once tolerance is achieved, increasing the quantity or concentration a second time and gaining tolerance at a higher level usually gives better subsequent acne clearance. 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 antimicrobial.[citation needed]" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jkom329 (talkcontribs) 08:26, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Another problem: the tolerance of BP's side effects within "one week or so" is not referenced, and I suspect it is not accurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jkom329 (talkcontribs) 08:33, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

It seems a large number of studies, especially the most recent ones done under the strictest of evaluation conditions, have compared commonly available 5 and 10% versus other treatment forms, not versus 2.5%. They almost always find it is highly effective and either nearly or as effective as every other treatment except oral isotrentinoin or BPO plus something else. The sensitivity issues eventually decrease and patients are likely to have excellent results if they push through it. Only a small number of studies appear to compare 2.5% to 10%. Thus, it is not justified to announce conclusively that 10% is no more effective than 2.5%, since the lower concentration has never (to my knowledge) been repeatedly compared to full-course anti-biotics and topical retinoids, for instance. Heck, BPO is available in some parts of the world up to 20% and for a reason. Including Canada. Speaking of Canada... The 1977 study is a weird one to bring up under adverse reactions. Moisturizer? Sunscreen? This was 1977, after all. It is widely reported and substantiated by the literature that people vary as to their tolerance of BPO. It's far more rational to suggest people use the highest concentration they can tolerate without severe reactions, since the best, most reliable repeated studies have found the higher concentrations definitely produce excellent results when stuck with... even if we cannot conclude reliably that 2.5% really is equivalent to 6 months of tetracycline and Retin-A, for instance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:42, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

That most studies compare higher concentrations of BPO to alternative treatments does not necessarily mean that the higher concentrations are more effective than 2.5%. Studies comparing various concentrations of BPO do show that 2.5% is as effective as higher strengths, and there is general agreement on this in recent literature reviews (too lazy to cite at the moment). More head-to-head clinical trials with other APIs are always desirable, yes, but practically it seems that the current body of evidence is adequate to support equivalence.

20% and higher concentrations are generally used as antiseptics, not acne treatments. Anyway, the mere availability of higher concentrations does not mean they are more effective. Marketing divisions like to put "maximum strength" on products if they can, thus the unfortunate scarcity of 2.5% formulations.

A truly rational and widely used approach to acne treatment with BPO is this: start with 2.5% and increase strength as tolerated only if necessary to achieve control of acne. This strategy covers any possibility that higher concentrations might be more effective in certain patients, though I would be more inclined to add a retinoid rather than increase the strength of BPO. Significantly greater progress at higher concentrations should not be relied upon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jkom329 (talkcontribs) 09:14, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

The following statements are contradictory. The current literature suggests that 2.5% is as effective in head-to-head trials with higher concentrations. Period. Since that's the case, it doesn't make sense to say increasing concentrations *usually* gives better results. Increasing concentration *may* give better results in some cases. There are always exceptions. I'm changing these statements accordingly. "Some research suggests that 5 and 10% concentrations are not significantly more effective than 2.5%" "increasing the quantity or concentration a second time and gaining tolerance at a higher level usually gives better subsequent acne clearance" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jkom329 (talkcontribs) 05:12, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Toleration (2.5% vs 5% vs 10%)[edit]

The study cited states that "Desquamation, erythema, and symptoms.of burning with the 2.5% gel were less frequent than with the 10% preparation but equivalent to the 5% gel. Wiki page has been edited to reflect that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Use as an explosive in film and television special effects[edit]

Benzoyl peroxide is used as a special effects explosive as it is relatively safe with much lower blast effects than many other explosive substances. A benzoyl peroxide explosion is also attractive for filming as it produces a deep orange flame and thick black smoke. Roger (talk) 15:59, 22 March 2012 (UTC)


The infobox describes the chemical compound (ie. in its pure form) and list it as explosive etc.). I think its strange and misleading to include the pharmacology data in the infobox too, because it is not for the chemical but for some solution (or whatever) of it. For the same reason the {{drugbox}} warns against putting chemical data in the the drug boxes. Christian75 (talk) 17:46, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

And Benzoyl hydroxide?[edit]

It is also formulated as acne medication paste and more effective than benzoyl peroxide. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 23 August 2016 (UTC)