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lawrence1

Using 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide and Still Having Breakouts

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Hi guys,

So I've had pretty mild acne on my face, and more severe on my shoulders and back. For my face, I've been using benzoyl peroxide for around 3 weeks. I started with about a week and a half of using 10%, but then realized that concentration was probably way too high. During that week, I was breaking out pretty bad. I then switched to 2.5%, and my face had calmed down considerably for almost a week, with only one pimple.

But the last few days, I've been having a lot of whiteheads pop up, on my chin especially, with some red bump acne as well. Is this a purge? I thought I had purged in the beginning when I was using 10% and broke out. Is it normal to have multiple purges? The only way my acne has improved is that I'm not getting large inflamed pustules anymore, as that was the usual acne I had. Now I just have way more white heads, and the red bumps acne, which don't hurt, I don't know if I'm developing cysts or something. The white heads also keep coming back after they heal. I want to think it's a purge and I should push through it, but I'm not sure.

As for my shoulder and back acne, I've been using 10% benzoyl peroxide for a few weeks, with no improvement. Before that, I had used salicylic acid for like 6 months, with no improvement. Is it time for me to give up on using benzoyl peroxide?

Edited by lawrence1

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What's your morning and night skincare regimen? It's not uncommon for a purge to come in waves, and sometimes it lasts longer than we anticipate. It seems like you're on the right track with your face since you've had a reduction in inflammatory acne. I would give it a full six weeks before changing regimens. Keep pushing through it :) Now your body is a different story. If the bumps on your body are unresponsive to benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid it's very likely you have malassezia folliculitis. This is actually caused by a fungus instead of propionibacterium bacteria like your typical acne. This will have to be something you research because it resembles acne and it's often difficult to differientiate the two. The key indicator is the "acne" (malassezia folliculitis) being unresponsive to acne treatments. After doing research if it feels logical then I have a few reccomendations. The first is to use a shampoo called Nizoral with 1% ketoconazole in it and leave it on the skin for 5-10 minutes. I would do a test patch first to make sure it doesn't irritate your skin. Also make sure your shampoo/conditioner doesn't get all over your back/body when you rinse your hair as this can worsen folliculitis. I would also be careful using soaps in areas you're experiencing the body breakouts. I have plenty more tips if this feels like a logical explanation for your breakouts so feel free to ask any questions! Good luck! 

I also meant to post this picture. This gives you a good idea of a typical purge course. Just remember everyone is different though. 

IMG_0028.PNG

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So in the morning I usually just shower, then rinse my face, then put on the 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. Sometimes I use a cleanser in the shower. The benzoyl peroxide lotion I'm using contains a moisturizer in it, so I don't get dry and need to moisturize again. Some time during the day I then wash my face, sometimes with a cleanser. At night, I wash my face again, sometimes with a cleanser. So basically I use a cleanser like once a day, at a random point, so I should definitely make that more consistent. I'm not sure if I should start using the benzoyl peroxide at night and leaving it on over night too?

Also, for the shoulder/bacne/upper chest acne, I have a picture of my left shoulder, which gets most of the blemishes. I checked out the condition you mentioned and some pictures of it maybe look like this? It actually does sound like what you mentioned, but also, to me, it just looks like cystic, or inflamed pustules that I would get on my face, only worse. I do bodybuilding, and so I think the sweating has to do with it, and I also think it's primarily hormonal, as it got worse during puberty. Could hormones and sweating cause that fungal condition? For other reasons, I can't shower after going to the gym, so that makes it pretty difficult to treat this. But I'm thinking that if it's not the condition you mentioned, it may eventually respond to the 10% BP? Since it's only been a few weeks. But thank you for the tips!

IMG_7426.PNG

Edited by lawrence1

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Have you tired any other products than benzyl peroxide? It can be quite drying to the skin. I used this and found that even though it helped with acne a little bit, it dried my skin out and made it really sensitive. It strips layers of your skin and can sometimes irritate acne, making it worse.

These are some before and afters of people who have used the products that I have been using.

Back acne.jpg

received_10155122505018610[1807].jpeg

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So for my face, I did try to use salicylic acid 2% for a few weeks, nothing really happened. I used that stuff on my upper body for many months with no improvement, so maybe it is folliculitis. I've also just tried regular cleansers on my face, but acne still happened. The benzoyl peroxide 2.5% I'm using for my face doesn't really dry me up or anything or irritate me, but the 10% has not seemed to have done anything for my upper body either, so I'm just not sure. I bought the nizoral stuff so I'll be trying that out instead of the BP. My back acne looks slightly better with the BP, but shoulders still look bad, so maybe it's a combination.

I think overall though, my face has improved because my acne now isn't typically inflamed and doesn't last as long, and the red spots from old stuff are fading faster. The thing I'm concerned about though is that I've had this bump on my jawline for a few weeks now, I think it's a sebaceous cyst, so I don't know what to do about that. I also have a lot of flesh colored bumps, forming a line, on my forehead the last few days. I should be seeing a dermatologist in July, but I'm hoping my face will be nearly clear at that point.

Edited by lawrence1

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