Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient in topical acne medications. The medication reduces oil production and inflammation and kills bacteria that can exacerbate acne, according to Acne.com. Most over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide treatments range in concentration from 2.5 to 10 percent active ingredient, and prescription drugs may be even more powerful. Skin reactions can include irritation and burning.
Discontinue use of benzoyl peroxide products and consult your dermatologist if you experience severe burning of the skin along with swelling, hives, breathing problems or dizziness. These symptoms can signify not just a minor irritation but a potentially serious allergic reaction.
Reduce the frequency of benzoyl peroxide use if you experience skin irritation, dryness, minor itching or a minor burning sensation. These symptoms don't mean the medication isn't working; your skin simply needs to adjust to the treatment. If you've been directed to apply the treatment every day, drop down to every other day to see whether the irritation subsides.
Apply a non-comedogenic moisturizing lotion to your irritated skin. Non-comedogenic means that the product won't clog your pores. Hypoallergenic and oil-free lotions can also soothe the dryness and irritation you might experience as a result of benzoyl peroxide. Wait until the medication has dried before using lotion.
Select a benzoyl peroxide treatment that's less powerful if your every-other-day regimen still leaves you with a burning sensation or other skin irritation. Your doctor can recommend a product that contains a lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide that can still work to clear your acne, but with fewer side effects.