Using hydrogen peroxide for acne is a quick, easy and inexpensive way of getting rid of pimples. Here is more on how to use, Its benefits and side effects for acne and acne scars
Having skin issues at puberty is normal but when it extends to adulthood it might affect a person’s self-esteem. The skin is known for assisting the body in excretion, insulation, body temperature regulation and protection. However, like all other living organs, it is susceptible to disease and infections.
Acne vulgaris commonly known as acne is one such skin disease that can remain in adulthood. Though not life threatening it may form scars that can be uncomfortable.
Acne occurs when there is overstimulation of oil glands. The excess stimulation occurs due to a number of factors that includes diet and genetics. Hormonal imbalance especially when there is excess testosterone hormone production in puberty and during pregnancy.
Acne mainly affects the most exposed parts of the body such as the neck, chest, back, shoulders, and face.
The skin has tiny holes known as pores that have individual glands. More so it is covered with hair follicles that connect the sebaceous glands and pores. The glands are known for oil /sebum production which transports dead skin to the surface for removal.
The sebum helps to keep the skin moisturized. However, when overstimulated it causes excess oil production. The presence of excess sebum hasten skin cells maturity and may cause a blockage of the follicle pores. The bundling up of the sebum, hair follicles, and enlarged skin cells leads to the formation of acne.
Different Forms of Acne
Acne can appear in different forms:
- Blackheads and whiteheads. This is very common and occurs as a result of blockage of the pores. They may appear on the skin surface as small bumps. Depending on the size of blockage then either can occur. In cases where the blockage is small then Whitehead may occur such that it’s not fully exposed on the surface rather it is covered by a thin layer of skin. This gives it the whitish color. On the other hand, if the pore area affected is large and highly exposed to air, it turns black and is known as a blackhead.
- Occur when there is inflammation of the medium layers of the skin as pink bumps that are a bit tender.
- The inflammation of the deeper layers of the skin causes the formation of pimples. Also known as Zits they appear on the skin surface as tender and inflamed bumps that are red in color.
- When the damage affects even the deep roots of the skin the nodules are likely to appear. On the skin surface, they are large, firm pimples that are quite painful due to the strong embedment in the skin roots.
- The skin is covered by numerous skin follicles. Hormonal changes among other factors may cause an overstimulation which causes an enlarged hair follicle. The sudden enlargement causes a wall rupture making it susceptible to bacteria and impurities attack in the deepest layers. This causes inflammation and the presence of red pus-filled bumps on the skin surface.
- Due to deep skin inflammation, they appear on the skin surface as pus-filled pimples that are deep rooted. They may also appear as boils due to the bacterial reaction.
One of the fastest remedies of treatment is the use of hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide chemically compounded as H2O2 is a weak acid that contains two hydrogen and two oxygen atoms. When introduced in the body system the compound breaks down to form water and an extra oxygen which is to be used within the body. The presence of hydrogen and its ability to form water makes it one of the most natural and effective products.
The human body itself does produce some hydrogen peroxide though in small quantities to fight off some of the yeast, fungi, and bacteria in the body. This it does by stimulating the production of white blood cells in areas where there is an attack thus prevent any infection.
It is considered as a temporary solution to acne treatment as it only deals with some of the symptoms and not the main cause such as genetics and hormonal imbalance. Its cytotoxic nature it should only be used in very small quantities as it may cause massive destruction to the skin and other cells.
Hydrogen peroxide exists in a liquid form which contains 3% hydrogen peroxide. It is also available in a cream form which contains 1% hydrogen peroxide.
Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide for Acne Treatment
Acne occurs when there is fast and excess skin cell growth. Since the cells are living they contain an enzyme known as catalase. The excess growth means that there is an influx of this enzyme in the body. In most cases the body is unable to synthesize the excess catalase thus it becomes toxic to the body causing infections.
The topical application of hydrogen peroxide on the acne prone area breaks down to water and oxygen. The water keeps the area hydrated while the extra oxygen, damage the extra skin cells in an oxidative manner thus stopping infections. The skin cells lose electrons which further damages their structure. The foam it creates upon application also helps to clean any inflammations.
There exist good and bad bacteria in the body some of which are very useful. There are anaerobic bacteria that cannot survive in the presence of oxygen and anaerobic bacteria that thrive in oxygen presence. It is because of the role played by oxygen in the bodies that aerobic bacteria are considered good bacteria.
In the epidermis, there is the presence of anaerobic bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes. This is a bacterium that is mostly found in the hair follicles. In excess, these bacteria secrete excess catalase enzyme. When it gets trapped in the pores it triggers excess oil production and causes inflammation of the skin. It also blocks the process of dead skin removal causing a buildup while changing the PH of the skin making it toxic. All these changes have been associated with acne.
The use of hydrogen peroxide releases the oxygen which combines with the anaerobic bacteria, oxygenates the bacteria completely destroying it as it cannot survive.
However, this may lead to the loss of good bacteria as hydrogen peroxide is impartial in its bacterial attack.
The presence of acne means that the sebum is unable to push dead skin to the surface creating a buildup. Dead skin not only makes the skin appear dull but it can also be toxic when it mixes with bacteria.
Hydrogen peroxide, highly oxidative in nature helps to controllably burn this build up creating a soft top layer skin moisturized by the water.
Recipe: Form a paste from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the mixture on clean skin, leave for five minutes then wash.
Hydrogen Peroxide for Acne Scars
The overstimulation of the glands, follicles and sebum and subsequent blocking may cause tissue damage. The repair by the white blood cells may be effective through the reinstatement of the tissues to their former stability may not be possible resulting to scars. Acne may appear on the skin surface as pimples or blackheads. The simple squeezing activity to remove the inner liquid damages the surrounding tissues leading to scar formation.
Hydrogen peroxides help to clean the surface such that the scars easily disappear.
Tissue healing and reduce skin inflammation
The presence of cysts, pimples, and nodules all forms of acne indicate damage to the deep layers of the skin. The depth of damage causes serious inflammation due to the damage to surrounding tissues.
Hydrogen peroxide application helps to hasten the production of white blood cells which allow for immediate tissue healing lessening the inflammation.
The lack of oxygen supply to skin cells results in the presence of dark patches. More so the blockage of the pores due to acne and presence of anaerobic bacteria on the skin may cause skin pigmentation
Hydrogen peroxide acts in two ways in skin whitening. One it uses its extra oxygen to revitalize the cells and destroy the bacteria.
It may also constrict the blood flow to the affected area thus lightening the appearance though this is temporary.
Recipe: Mix a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of honey, papaya, and milk. Apply this paste on clean skin and leave for a few minutes before washing.
Acne is triggered by excess oil production which has a boomerang effect on the skin
The use of hydrogen peroxide known for its oil-absorbing properties helps to stop excess oil production and prevent the occurrence of acne.
Treatment of occluded pores
The blockage or enlargement of the pores leads to the formation of whiteheads and blackheads. They are loosely covered by skin and though small they are quite visible on the skin surface.
Hydrogen peroxide when applied releases oxygen that oxidizes the blocked pores. This narrows the muscles around the pores thus tightening them. And it also helps to unblock the skin pores Also it sucks up the oil from the blocked pores thus drying affected areas
- Three tablespoon water
- One tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
- Few drops of rosemary essential oil
Mix and apply on a clean face using a cotton ball. Wash the face after five minutes and pat dry before applying an oil-free lotion. This mixture should be applied twice daily for best results.