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helpchicken

benzoyl peroxide and sebum excretion

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Hey all. In December of 2010 i started Dan's regimen, but chose to stop in March 2011 because of the irritation it caused. I also noticed about 10 weeks in that the moisturizer started to leave my face looking greasy, but it seemed to go away at night so i thought nothing of it. When i stopped in March, my face became greasy without that moisturizer, or any for that matter. Turns out benzoyl peroxide had somehow increased sebum excretion; my acne stayed at the same moderate level, but the sebum excretion on my face started to increase, especially on my nose, which is still extremely oily, and my cheeks are pretty oily. Lately, i've grown tired of this unnecessary grease, and have tried to research how benzoyl peroxide could do such a thing, because it certainly is not one of the stated side effects.

My underlyning question is this (any help is appreciated, since i dont think my research is at all adequate): How and Why could benzoyl peroxide increase sebum excretion, and how can I reverse the effects benzoyl peroxide had on my skin? How could i get my skin back to normal, like my forehead is (which was never touched with benzoyl peroxide)?

I came across an article about benzoyl peroxide and saw this:

-Cunliffe showed that a 5% concentration increased sebum secretion rates by 22.5% after 1-2 months, likely by reducing obstruction in the pilosebaceous follicle and allowing sebum to flow more freely to reach the skin surface rather than affecting the sebaceous gland cells.

while looking up cunliffe, i found little bits of articles that i could not get full access to, but found this as well:

-Benzyl Peroxide has no direct effect on sebum production, but by reducing comedogenesis, may affect the outflow of sebum and so produce an apparent increase

So i started to look into the pilosebaceous follice and happened to find this:

Pilosebaceous follicles are small glands in the form of tiny bags that open onto the skin's surface. They contain the sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum

So i guess what i'm trying to ask is, did benzoyl peroxide tamper with my pilosebaceous follicles, cleaning them out and opening them more so that more sebum could be excreed? If so, is there a way to "clog" the follicles back up again, so i don't have to deal with oily skin anymore? Is there a way to increase comedogenesis without increasing my acne?

Another theory that could just be totally wrong, or may be a bit relevant to the above one, is the dissolving of keratin plugs, an effect benzoyl peroxide has when applied topically. With the lack of keratin, would that increase how benzoyl peroxide could "open" the pilosebaceous follicles, because doesn't keratin protect the skin?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

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Guest Timehealsall

did your pores also enlarge?

This seems rather interesting, because my sebum production increased when i started the regimen..... but than again, i was getting more sebum in areas i rarely applied the BP

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yes they did. on my nose its the worst, with all those little blackheads coming to the surface.. and i have the typical larger pores on each side of my nose; they aren't huge, but definetly noticably larger. I would assume because the pilosebaceous follicles can secrete sebum easier to the surface of my skin, my pores had to enlarge to handle the change of sebum excrecion; i wish i could find more info on this topic. I'm hoping to talk to a dermatologist in the next couple of weeks, and i'm going to bring this up, but in the meantime, if anyone here has any more input, or even a solution, i would be very grateful.

and the thing about more sebum in areas you rarely applied BP, thats unfortunate, and i don't think our cases are similar then; my forehead is completely normal, which i did not touch with bp at all, while my face definetly has a higher sebum excretion rate, especially my nose..

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Yeah it really is unfortunate, I just don't understand how I could even fathom using bp because after trying to research how it can create oily skin, the product has almost no positive benefits in the long run. But since I can't go back in time, i'm determined to try to fix my skin back to normal. So hopefully someone on here has gone through the same thing and was able to do that, or someone just really knows their information

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A good way of reducing sebum would to be a wash based with saylic acid. btw slightly irrelevant but i do love the name 'helpchicken' :D

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A good way of reducing sebum would to be a wash based with saylic acid. btw slightly irrelevant but i do love the name 'helpchicken' :D

Haha thank you, i do too. and thanks for the input, but thats not exactly what im looking for. I'm not trying to reduce my sebum production, but rather regulate my secretion levels to what it was before benzoyl peroxide. It was topicals that had increased my sebum production, so i'm wary to use one like salycilic acid, which has its own side effects, even if they are less mild than benzoyl peroxide; my face is still red from bp, so i'm trying not to put anything that could be irritating on.

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Haha thank you, i do too. and thanks for the input, but thats not exactly what im looking for. I'm not trying to reduce my sebum production, but rather regulate my secretion levels to what it was before benzoyl peroxide. It was topicals that had increased my sebum production, so i'm wary to use one like salycilic acid, which has its own side effects, even if they are less mild than benzoyl peroxide; my face is still red from bp, so i'm trying not to put anything that could be irritating on.

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I can only tell you about my personal experience, but what I've experienced with BP is that it simply removes any oils you might have from your skin, making it quite vulnerable for a time. The way physicians tend to see it is that clogged skin causes acne, so to prevent acne, the skin has to be kept free of oils.

BP does a great job of removing any moisture from your face, and a lot of acne medication will do the same. The problem for me was that this only caused my face to secrete a lot more oil, which in turn causes acne.

When I went off of BP (luckily in the middle of winter :rolleyes: ) I struggled with dry skin for a month or two, even with only washing my face with water. The point is that, BP dries out your skin, but if you have oily skin to begin with, this will only exacerbate any problems you had.

---

But I don't want to discredit it's effectiveness. I went off of my treatment of BP and Tretinoin cream when my face cleared up, and was effectively acne-free for a few months. This was after being on it for about 4 months. I decided not to go back though, as my acne returned, because my idea was that the damage done to my skin through constantly drying it out was not worth it.

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I think you might have misunderstood the BP / acne info you read about. I'm no expert, but I think you'd want the oil to get to the surface of the skin, rather than getting trapped inside clogged pores, since that can definitely increase your risk for acne.

Acne has three contributing factors which combine to bring it about.

1. Sebum (oil) production: The sebaceous glands inside hair follicles release oil, which travels up the follicle and out onto the skin.

2. Abnormal skin cell shedding: In normal skin, skin cells travel from the bottom of the epidermis to the top, break apart from each other, and fall off neatly. In acne-prone skin, these cells can stick together tightly, more of them are produced, and, in the case of the cells that travel up along your hair follicle, can cause bad clogs / plugs, especially when combined with the excess oil that acne-prone skin secretes. This whole thing might also be called keratinization, or maybe keratinization is a similar but altogether separate process, I'm not sure. Either way, these clogs / plugs trap the oil that would otherwise flow out to the surface of the skin. These clogs appear as blackheads and whiteheads.

3. Bacteria, like p acnes: As I understand it, this is what takes non-inflammatory acne (like the blackheads and whiteheads I mentioned) and brings it to the next level (into inflamed zits and cysts). Bacteria loves feeding on the oil released by your sebaceous glands. Most of the time they don't cause a huge problem, but if the oil can't get to the surface because of a clog, it'll slowly build up in your hair follicle. The bacteria will get to it, and these bacteria thrive in environments without oxygen, so this blocked up area under your skin--full of oil and devoid of oxygen--makes for a feast, and their numbers will skyrocket. The bacteria release a waste product from eating your oil which irritates the hair follicle, sometimes to the point that it ruptures, sending bacteria and waste flying under your skin. Your body triggers an immune response, and you get inflammation, and maybe pus.

So, no, you definitely don't want to clog up your pores, or your sebaceous glands within your pores. What BP does is it delivers oxygen under your skin, making the environment for the oxygen-hating bacteria less hospitable.

The whole business of BP opening up your pores and making it SEEM as though you're producing more oil is interesting. I've never heard about that. I'm actually on salicylic acid right now, and my face seems greasier, but maybe it's because it's opening up my pores and allowing the oil to flow freely. Crazy, haha.

If that's true, the question then becomes ... does that excess oil on the surface of your skin pose a hazard because it can flow back into the pores and help clog them up again? I don't know the answer to that, but from what I've heard, I don't think there's a huge threat, but it might be worth looking into.

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thanks for some of the info baloo, perhaps i worded my statements wrong. i know the oil thats now on my face is not dangerous towards my acne, because its been the absolute same for the past 4 months.. i'm just trying to brainstorm how to get my face back to normal so that my skin does not let so much sebum to the surface.. bp does "open" your pores by reducing the obstruction between ur skin and sebaceous follicles according to research ive done, allowing more sebum to reach the surface of your skin, and less to cause p. acne lesions.. you would think after 4 months the bp effects on my pores and sebaceous follicles would fade and my face would normalize, but so far, no luck with that.. so if anyone has any ideas, let me know; and i am not asking how to reduce oil production or sebum on my face so please don't suggest products for that

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Guest Timehealsall

i would say that this might have happened to me, but areas of my face are oily as hell, even though i rarely used benzoyl peroxide there.

Maybe its genetics? shrug

i should also add that my pores seem to have enlarged with all the oil i am producing. It sucks

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