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Desquam (Generic Benzoyl Peroxide Topical)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Desquam, or generic benzoyl peroxide topical, is commonly prescribed for the treatment of acne. Benzoyl peroxide works by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria and by causing the skin to dry and peel, which helps to unclog pores and prevent new acne from forming.

How should this medicine be used?

Here’s how Desquam should typically be used:

  • Cleanse the affected area: Wash the skin with a mild cleanser and pat dry before applying Desquam. This helps to remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup, allowing the medication to penetrate the skin effectively.
  • Apply a thin layer: Using clean fingertips, apply a thin layer of Desquam to the affected areas. It’s important not to use too much, as this can lead to irritation without providing additional benefits.
  • Follow directions: Follow your doctor’s instructions or the directions on the medication label carefully. This usually involves applying Desquam once or twice daily, depending on the severity of your acne and the strength of the medication.
  • Be patient: It may take several weeks before you notice significant improvements in your acne. Consistency is key, so continue using Desquam as directed even if you don’t see immediate results.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure: Benzoyl peroxide can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it’s important to wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors. This can help prevent sunburn and minimize the risk of skin damage.
  • Be cautious with clothing and fabrics: Benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabrics, so be careful to avoid contact with clothing, towels, or bed linens that you don’t want to bleach. Let the medication dry completely before allowing treated areas to come into contact with fabrics.
  • Moisturize if needed: Benzoyl peroxide can sometimes cause dryness or irritation, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. If this occurs, you can use a gentle, oil-free moisturizer to help alleviate dryness without clogging pores.
  • Avoid contact with eyes, lips, and mucous membranes: Benzoyl peroxide can be irritating to sensitive areas, so be careful to avoid getting it in your eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes. If accidental contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Consult your dermatologist: If you experience severe irritation, allergic reactions, or if your acne doesn’t improve after several weeks of treatment, consult your dermatologist. They can provide guidance on adjusting your treatment regimen or trying alternative therapies.

Remember, everyone’s skin is different, so what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to find a skincare routine that works best for your individual needs, and your dermatologist can help guide you in the right direction.

Other uses for this medicine

While Desquam (benzoyl peroxide topical) is primarily prescribed for acne, it may have other off-label uses or applications based on a healthcare provider’s discretion. Some dermatologists may prescribe benzoyl peroxide for conditions such as folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles), seborrheic dermatitis (a common skin condition that causes redness, scaly patches, and dandruff), or as part of a combination therapy for rosacea (a chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness and visible blood vessels).

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions to follow when using Desquam:

  • Skin sensitivity testing: Before using benzoyl peroxide for the first time, especially in higher concentrations, it’s recommended to perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of the medication to a small area of unaffected skin and observe for any adverse reactions, such as redness, itching, or burning. If no reaction occurs within 24 hours, it’s generally safe to use the product as directed.
  • Avoid contact with eyes, mouth, and mucous membranes: Benzoyl peroxide can be irritating to sensitive areas of the body, so it’s crucial to avoid contact with the eyes, mouth, and mucous membranes. If accidental contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Use sunscreen: Benzoyl peroxide can increase sensitivity to sunlight, leading to a higher risk of sunburn. It’s essential to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and to wear protective clothing when exposed to the sun, especially during peak hours.
  • Be cautious with clothing and fabrics: Benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabrics, including clothing, towels, and bed linens. Allow the medication to dry completely before coming into contact with fabrics, and consider using white or light-colored linens to minimize the risk of staining.
  • Avoid combining with other potentially irritating products: Using benzoyl peroxide alongside other topical acne treatments, such as retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids, may increase the risk of skin irritation. If using multiple acne treatments, it’s best to introduce them gradually and monitor for any adverse reactions.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: While benzoyl peroxide is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding when used topically in low concentrations, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
  • Medical history: Inform your healthcare provider of any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies, or sensitivities, as well as any medications or supplements you are currently taking. This information can help prevent potential interactions or adverse effects.

By following these precautions and guidelines, you can safely and effectively incorporate Desquam into your skincare routine while minimizing the risk of adverse reactions or complications. As always, if you have any concerns or questions about using benzoyl peroxide, consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and recommendations.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions, there are generally no specific dietary restrictions associated with using Desquam. However, maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated can support overall skin health and may complement your acne treatment regimen.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to apply a dose of Desquam, apply it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply extra medication to make up for the missed dose, as this can increase the risk of irritation. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Desquam (benzoyl peroxide topical) is generally well-tolerated, but like any medication, it can cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects of Desquam may include:

  • Skin irritation: This is the most common side effect and may manifest as redness, dryness, peeling, itching, or burning at the site of application.
  • Contact dermatitis: Some people may experience an allergic reaction or sensitivity to benzoyl peroxide, resulting in contact dermatitis characterized by redness, rash, or swelling.
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight: Benzoyl peroxide can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, increasing the risk of sunburn and skin damage. It’s important to use sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors.
  • Bleaching of hair or fabrics: Benzoyl peroxide has bleaching properties and may lighten hair color or bleach fabrics such as clothing, towels, or bed linens.
  • Dryness: Benzoyl peroxide can have a drying effect on the skin, which may lead to increased dryness or flakiness, particularly during the initial stages of treatment.
  • Eczema exacerbation: In some cases, benzoyl peroxide may exacerbate symptoms of eczema, particularly in individuals with pre-existing sensitive or dry skin conditions.
  • Allergic reactions: While rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to benzoyl peroxide, including hives, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of a severe allergic reaction.
  • Discoloration of skin: Prolonged use of benzoyl peroxide may cause temporary or permanent skin discoloration, particularly in individuals with darker skin tones.

It’s essential to monitor your skin for any signs of irritation or allergic reactions while using Desquam. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, discontinue use and consult with your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance. They may recommend adjusting your treatment regimen or trying alternative acne treatments.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to the storage and disposal of Desquam (benzoyl peroxide topical), here’s what you should know:


  • Store Desquam at room temperature away from excessive heat and moisture.
  • Keep the medication tightly closed in its original container to protect it from light and moisture.
  • Do not freeze benzoyl peroxide products, as this may affect their effectiveness.
  • Keep Desquam out of reach of children and pets.


  • Dispose of any unused or expired Desquam medication properly according to local regulations or guidelines.
  • Do not flush benzoyl peroxide down the toilet or pour it into drains unless instructed to do so by your pharmacist or local waste disposal authority.
  • If you’re unsure about how to dispose of Desquam safely, consult with your pharmacist or healthcare provider for guidance.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • If someone has accidentally ingested Desquam or if you suspect an overdose, contact your local poison control center (in the United States, you can call 1-800-222-1222) or seek emergency medical attention immediately.
  • Be prepared to provide information about the product ingested, the amount taken, and any symptoms experienced.
  • If possible, have the Desquam packaging or container available for reference.

What other information should I know?

  • Desquam is for external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes, mouth, and mucous membranes. If accidental contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Use Desquam as directed by your healthcare provider or as indicated on the medication label. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or frequency of application.
  • It may take several weeks of regular use before you see significant improvement in your acne. Be patient and continue using the medication as directed.
  • Inform your healthcare provider of any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies, or sensitivities before using Desquam.
  • If you experience severe or persistent skin irritation, discontinue use and consult with your healthcare provider.
  • Keep all appointments with your dermatologist or healthcare provider for monitoring and follow-up while using Desquam.

Following these guidelines can help you use Desquam safely and effectively as part of your acne treatment regimen. If you have any questions or concerns about using benzoyl peroxide, don’t hesitate to consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for personalized advice and recommendations.

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