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What happens when you have an allergic reaction to a dermatological product which you thought would make your skin better? It does happen, though. People who have acne, for example, often try different skin products which may be prescribed or bought over-the-counter, hoping that these products will cure their problem and improve their skin. However, some experience side effects, including allergic reactions to these products, while others simply overuse them and end up having more problems.

Acne is a common skin condition that affects many people whose hair follicles are plugged with oil and debris from dead cells in the skin.

They usually occur on the face, neck, and even the back, shoulders and chest. This problem can be distressing since they usually persist, heal slowly and lead to scarring.

Over-the-counter acne treatments often involve the use of mild cleansing products that contain benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, sulfur, and salicylic acid. These products are often helpful for mild cases of acne. A popular skin care product for acne is Proactiv, which consists of a kit containing a cleanser, a toner and a repair lotion with benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid as their main active ingredients. The treatment works by penetrating pores, unclogging them, and killing bacteria, which build-up in the skin. However, acne medications may cause skin irritation, and other side effects like stinging, itchiness, redness, dryness and skin flaking. These symptoms often improve after one month of therapy. About three percent of users, however, experience an allergic reaction to benzoyl peroxide. They may experience the classic signs of an allergic reaction, which include hives, rashes, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, throat and tongue.

To avoid these side effects, it is best to test for an allergic reaction by putting a small amount of the skin care product at the nape or neck for three days to check if skin irritation, swelling, itchy rashes or bumps appear. If they persist, one should discontinue using the product.

If there is no skin irritation or if it disappears after a while, you may continue using the product. However, you must use only as directed on the product label, or as your doctor prescribed it. Avoid using in larger amounts or longer than recommended.

Apply the solution on the skin with clean hands in a thin layer, rubbing in gently. Topical benzoyl peroxide is usually applied once to thrice daily, depending on the instructions. If you notice mild skin irritation, reduce frequency of use to once a day or once every other day. Note that it may take weeks before acne improves. Store acne products at room temperature away from heat and moisture.

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