What We Really Know About Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatments and Benzene



Nevertheless, Christopher Bunick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and affiliate professor of dermatology for the Yale College of Medication — who research benzene contamination in private care merchandise — says, “Right here, benzoyl peroxide itself is unstable when positioned in at present obtainable formulations and/or autos and breaks down into the carcinogen benzene.” In keeping with Dr. Bunick, the breakdown to benzene occurs within the bottle or packaging, although the time it takes to interrupt down might differ. “At room temperature it may very well be days to weeks or longer, and that may rely upon the formulation and the storage parameters.”

Ought to we be anxious?

That is up for debate, relying on who you ask. On one hand, benzene is categorised as a carcinogen. “It isn’t a, ‘Perhaps that is unhealthy for you.’ Benzene has been identified to trigger most cancers or considerably elevate the danger of most cancers in human beings for many years,” explains Gentle. The Worldwide Company for Analysis on Most cancers (IARC), a part of the World Well being Group, classifies benzene as “carcinogenic to humans,” as does the US Nationwide Toxicology Program.

“Lengthy-term industrial publicity, that means staff in manufacturing who’re uncovered incessantly over tens of years to benzene, has been linked to most cancers,” Dobos says. “I would like to look at all of the take a look at strategies and knowledge [of the Valisure study], however a number of the excessive numbers referenced are coming from testing of merchandise that had been subjected to excessive temperatures accelerating the breakdown of benzoyl peroxide into benzene.”

Dermatologists Attract spoke with are skeptical about taking benzoyl peroxide off the desk fully, too. “We’d like extra knowledge,” says Caren Campbell, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in San Francisco. “Even when the breakdown of benzoyl peroxide releases benzene, the penetrability of it through the skin has been questioned by toxicologists [previously] and the apples-to-apples comparability of the information to actual life can also be questioned by these respected toxicologists.”

Dr. Campbell sometimes recommends sufferers use benzoyl peroxide as a face wash at a low share of 5 % or much less, versus having it sit on the pores and skin, in order that they get the acne-fighting advantages of benzene with out its potential for irritating the pores and skin. “That is what I’ve all the time really useful and admittedly, that is additionally a technique to restrict the time on the pores and skin and restrict the focus if extra knowledge is found exhibiting it’s a problem,” she says. Sure kinds of zits reply otherwise to sure topicals, although Dr. Campbell does advise sufferers to keep away from benzoyl peroxide if they’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or attempting to conceive.


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