MOST acne sufferers will know that finding relief for spots isn’t easy and often involves trips back and forth to see the doctor.
But many breathed a sigh of relief last week when a previously prescription-only treatment was made available over-the-counter.
Acnecide face gel and wash has been reclassified so they can be bought in shops like Superdrug and Boots without the advice of a pharmacist.
Making these products more widely available will allow people to treat mild acne affecting the face more easily.
They contain a chemical call benzoyl peroxide, which works like an antiseptic by killing bacteria on the skin’s surface that causes acne and cystic spots.
But without an expert’s advice, what many won’t realise is the chemical’s side-effects – including leaving towels stained with bleach.
People who have used the spot treatment have taken to social media to warn others of the dangers of wiping their face on coloured towels.
Say goodbye to pesky pimples and get ready to greet the bleach stains on all your favourite tops (and towels!)
Twitter user Mary Numair said: “Do you like ruining your clothes? Then you’ll LOVE benzoyl peroxide. Say goodbye to pesky pimples and get ready to greet the bleach stains on all your favorite tops (and towels!)”.
Another shared a snap of her badly damaged towel, and said: “be careful when using benzoyl peroxide guys!!! don’t bleach your towels like me”.
Cam tweeted: “Benzoyl peroxide is really good for severe acne but be careful because it bleached all of my towels and sheets (I used it for a year and went through 4 sets of pillow cases)”.
But it left some people questioning what it was doing to their face if it’s managing to do this much damage to their towels.
Twitter user Bellaboobabe said: “if benzoyl peroxide bleaches towels imaging what it is doing to your skin!”
Someone else, replying to a friend after acne help, said: “stay away from benzoyl peroxide! Nothing that bleaches your towels is safe to put on your skin”.
The patient information leaflet inside the packaging does warn about the side-effects of using products containing benzoyl peroxide.
According to advice on the NHS website, it says: “Benzoyl peroxide can have a bleaching effect, so avoid getting it on your hair or clothes.
“It should be used sparingly, as too much can irritate your skin.
“It also makes your face more sensitive to sunlight, so avoid too much sun and sources of ultraviolet (UV) light (such as sunbeds), or wear sun cream.”
The NHS also adds that side effects of benzoyl peroxide include:
- dry and tense skin
- a burning, itching or stinging sensation
- some redness and peeling of the skin
They say that these side effects are usually mild and should pass once the treatment has finished.
MORE ON ACNE
Jan MacDonald, from the MHRA, said: “The move to make Acnecide Face Gel and Acnecide Face Wash Gel more widely accessible will make it easier for people to treat mild acne on the face.
“Wider availability of medicinal products and improved patient access and choice remain high on the health agenda.
“The MHRA is committed to improving access to medicinal products for self-care where it is safe to do so.”
The five per cent benzoyl peroxide gel is now available to buy over the counter at Superdrug without a prescription[/caption]
- Acnecide 5% Gel Benzoyl Peroxide, £9.50 for 30g from Superdrug – buy now
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