Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hydrogen Peroxide Helps Cure Acne

The Miracle In An Ugly Brown Bottle

Hydrogen Peroxide it turns out can do wonders for curing acne, and keeping it at bay when used on a consistent basis for those with chronic acne. If you have fewer breakouts, such as before stress or during hormonal changes, you can reserve the use of Hydrogen Peroxide for those times of the month.

As a young girl I was very fortunate to have great skin. I never suffered from acne or any other skin problem growing up. Fortunately, I passed on this gene to my daughter who also has never suffered the embarrassment of acne or the scars they can leave behind. I never even could understand or fathom at a young age what this could be like for those who suffer from the pain of acne. As teenagers, for the most part, we were all into our own belly buttons. Plus, we all had friends who had acne and never really thought twice about it, but to those going through it, ....well let's just say it probably had devastating consequences and I am sure created some self esteem issues.

Believe it or not you can also find acne occurring to infants in small patches due to sleeping positions or sucking their thumb. Always check with a pediatrician before treating any skin problem on a small infant. Home remedies are great, but it always is best to get a professional opinion due to baby skin being so ultra delicate and super sensitive.

It wasn't until I had my own children that my skin began to change. I showed the onset of sun damage, got a mild form of rosacea and would have bouts of adult acne here and there, but mainly around my menstrual cycle since hormonal changes cause changes to our skin. This includes why young men get acne due to their elevated testosterone as they enter puberty. Higher testosterone levels tend to also create an oilier complexion which creates less cell turnover, whereby plugging pores. And for the most part, young men are not great at keeping their skin exfoliated.

Also when I began to wear liquid foundations or used the wrong cream, I would develop a nasty pimple that sometimes would become cystic. And anyone who has experienced one of those, knows the pain those suckers can cause. I also began to get a small taste of the pain and struggle that acne sufferers endure, if only with just a few pimples, it was all I could do to try and hide them. So my heart goes out to those who really suffer from worse cases.

I learned a long time ago how to resolve the problem on my own and what caused acne. It is a naturally occurring bacteria which lives in our sebum and once the pore gets plugged the bacteria begin to multiply creating the abscess we know as the pimple. This type of skin infection is caused by Propionibacterium Acnes and it thrives on our sebum and the lack of air getting into the pores of our skin. It is never about an ingredient feeding the bacteria that causes acne but about sebum (food source) and lack of oxygen (blocked pore) being the absolute cause of acne.

First thing I did was remove any products from my skin care that would cause blockage of air to my pores. Then I reduced the amount of products I used to clean my skin. I simplified my regimen. I also stayed clear of Salicylic Acid and some AHA's such as the potent Glycolic Acid. These can be extremely harsh to delicate skin which mine had become after I developed rosacea and I found extremely irritating to my acne. I also discovered never to pop or pick a zit as this will not speed healing, but can serve to only make it get worse and cause more scarring.

I used things like gentle Kaolin Clay and Rice Powder masks for soothing and detoxifying my skin. These worked wonderfully as a holistic treatment for these painful skin ulcerations. I also stuck with exfoliating towels that work equally as well at keeping a beautiful polished glow to my skin as any fruit acid. And I learned much patience as I allowed my body to heal itself all in good time.

As Close As My Medicine Cabinet

After more research, I discovered I had the answer sitting in my medicine cabinet. Hydrogen Peroxide, it turns out, is a powerful enzyme catalase, and it not only kills the bacteria that causes acne, but helps to oxygenate the pores which helps prevent future outbreaks by destroying the bacteria since they cannot survive where there is oxygen. You may notice a slight foaming on contact as the hydrogen peroxide begins to work. By keeping pores open and clear, acne cannot take hold, leaving an acne free complexion.

Propionibacterium Acnes is anaerobic and Hydrogen Peroxide is aerobic by producing oxygen in an H2O2 solution of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to 97% water. Water helps to open the pores while the hydrogen peroxide portion creates pressure within the skin, killing the bacteria that causes acne.

The 3% solution can be used as a toner and is safe to leave on the skin. There are other products which contain other versions of peroxides such as Benzoyl Peroxide, but this may be a bit too drying and harsh for the skin. Hydrogen Peroxide on the other hand is far milder, decomposes rapidly, and will not have the same bleaching effect that Benzoyl Peroxide can. However, still avoid repeated applications of even the liquid version as it can cause bleaching over time to eyebrows and around the hairline. Just know this is nowhere near the same strength as what stylists use to color hair.

There Will Always Be Critics!

There are some that say this product causes free radical damage due to the oxygenating process and causes premature aging. Well anyone who has studied up on free radical damage could make this argument, however, we are exposed daily to other far more damaging free radicals than a weak solution of HP. Sun, smoking, harsh peroxides, like benzoyl, daily outdoor pollution and so on and so forth. Besides since HP oxygenation is instantaneous, then decomposes rapidly and is not systemic, any free radical damage they may claim, is minimal and doesn't warrant the concern posed by some. Those who suffer from acne surely know the scars left behind cause much more damage to the aging process since scars are a result of destruction of collagen producing cells which results in thinning of the skin....Not to mention the effects on ones' self esteem!

Again, it is about weighing options and figuring out what is most important to you. Personally, I don't use HP everyday as a toner, I only use it when I feel a bit of a spot forming and it dries right back up and I only apply it to the areas of my face as needed. Acne can strike some people all over their back and chest, their face or just in isolated areas, such as forehead, temples, nose area and chin. Otherwise known as the T-Zone. If you may be concerned about the opposing argument, then use it only when needed and not as a daily routine. OTC Hydrogen peroxide has been used for decades without toxicity and is determined safe when used as directed. It is a known antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial agent, making this an excellent mild solution for acne sufferers.

It has worked for me for many years and folks say I still look 10 years younger than my age of 50 years. So it is again a personal decision, and I feel comfortable with the level of protection it provides and it is not anywhere near as damaging as simply taking a walk outside in the lovely fresh (polluted) air or spending a day at the beach! You decide.....

Take Care and Hugs!

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  1. How do you use it? Just with a cotton swab?

  2. Cotton swab is fine or a spray mist or put small amount in palm of hand, rub together and press onto skin like an aftershave.

  3. I inadvertently came across this treatment a few days ago.

    A few months ago i developed awful acne, little disgusting bumps all over my face. I had very mild acne as a teenager, and now close to my 30's, my face was full blown acne-ic with cystic tendencies. I was also trained as a skin care specialist and began every known treatment on myself. My skin, being very fair, sensitive and temperamental got worse with every treatment I tried. Let me say that I have treated acne on clients before and never experienced this issue. So I began to back away from anything that might irritate my skin... My skin stopped getting worse, but it also wasn't getting any better.

    I figured it was just stress and would eventually go away. I had basically accepted that for now, my face had decided to revolt. So two days ago, as I said, I was treating a completely different issue with HP. Afterwards, I sat there looking at the bottle of HP and thought, "Why not?!" Acne is caused by bacteria and HP kills bacteria. So I took a cotton ball, doused it in HP and ran it over my face. The next morning, i woke up and my acne was noticeably less swollen. Happy, I went about my normal day. That night, I did it again. This time, the straight HP stung a little... but like i said, my skin is very sensitive... AND skin has a very specific pH and any product that throws it off its pH will cause stinging, irritation and burning. I decided today to research to make sure HP wasn't going to cause major damage when I came across this blog. From now on, since my skin IS so sensitive, I will dilute it, but I am happy to have done this on a whim and had such great results.

    Thank you for sharing!!!

  4. Hi TaraMichelle, Thanks for stopping by. I am also very glad this has helped you get to a better place with resolving your acne issue. Hope this works out for you going forward.

    Apologies for the late posting of your comment, but this was the soonest I was able to attend to it with a response. It makes me so happy when the articles actually help others, because that is why I take the time to put them out there.


  5. It really works, I mix Peroxide with Asprin and it works.

  6. Today i just came back from school and noticed the pimples on my face. Not that I'm new to them but they just piss me off.

    So, I'm 15, a teenager. And I've been suffering from pimples for years (don't know exactly). I was just suffering through the net and i came across this website on HP. I haven't exactly ever imagined using HP, but i think I'll start using it. I've been using other products on my face but they never work. I have oily skin and I'm a black girl. Do you think this HP will work on me without lightening my skin color or drying up my face?

    1. Dilute it with some water and it'll be fine -- just use it as a spot treatment once or twice a day, not over the entire face.