Q: I used to have normal-combination skin (face), with minor problems such as a few monthly breakouts and blackheads in the nose area. However, when I turned seventeen my breakouts increased and my skin became oilier. I tried a product containing 5% benzoyl peroxide and ended up with severe redness. My skin actually looked like it was burned, and I developed a rash of tiny pimples all over my face. So I stopped using everything except cleanser and toner for three days, but the rash and redness persisted. Now, three months later, the redness is gone but I still have the rash – and I’m still suffering from breakouts! To make matters worse, I live in a hot and humid climate, which seems to exacerbate the problem.
Benzoyl peroxide is popular ingredient in many over-the-counter acne medications, but as you have discovered, it can cause intense irritation in some cases. Read labels and avoid this ingredient in the future.
We need to approach your problem from the inside out. A three-tiered program (anti-inflammatory diet, supplements, and topicals) is critical in the fight against acne. Your first step should be to study the list of anti-inflammatory foods on our website and incorporate as many of them as possible into your daily diet. In addition, study the list of “bad” foods and avoid them. In your case, I strongly recommend you follow the Three Day Diet, but extend it to five days. You may find this will greatly alleviate the rash and the breakouts. In terms of topical treatment, I suggest you use a mild cleanser twice a day and DMAE toner pads three times a day. Don’t forget the right nutritional supplements, especially B vitamins and antioxidants (e.g., vitamins C, E, alpha lipoic acid, DMAE, and others available in the supplement section of our website.