Acne expert Dr. Schweiger explains that, “ProActiv is an excellent product, containing an effective concentration of benzoyl peroxide for the treatment of acne. However, acne is multifactorial, meaning that it is caused by a variety of factors. In order to effectively treat acne, we must address many of the factors that lead to the development of acne. Benzoyl peroxide kills the p. acnes bacteria, which is the bacteria that causes acne, but does not decrease sebum production or sebum buildup in the pores. Additionally, research tells us that combinations of benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin (an antibiotic) kill the p. acnes bacteria more effectively than either ingredient on its own. For patients who do not see clearance of their acne within 4-6 weeks after beginning to use ProActiv products, I recommend visiting your dermatologist for evaluation. It is important to begin proper treatment for acne promptly, in order to prevent the development of permanent scars.
Many patients need a more aggressive acne treatment than ProActiv can deliver. These patients will benefit from a consultation with a dermatologist, who may recommend oral antibiotics or in-office laser and light-based therapies. Lastly, some patients are unable to tolerate the use of benzoyl peroxide products; benzoyl peroxide is a potentially drying medication, which must be used properly in order to prevent dryness and irritation on the skin. Your dermatologist can recommend moisturizers, to prevent dryness, which will not contribute to the formation of new acne lesions on your skin.”