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Benzoyl peroxide is a medication commonly used to treat chronic acne. It has a mild drying effect, which helps to control oil. This, however, can also be irritating to the skin.

Post-infammatory Hyperpigmentation

Once acne blemishes have cleared, they frequently leave dark spots on the skin. This condition is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. While these spots will eventually fade, their presence can be cosmetically frustrating. The American Academy of Dermatology asserts that the irritation caused by the use of benzoyl peroxide products can prolong the duration of acne-induced hyperpigmentation, particularly in darker skin tones.

Alternative Medications

The American Academy of Dermatology website recommends that people with darker skin tones opt for a retinoid topical medications to treat chronic acne. Retinoids, such as adapalene, tazarotene and tretinoin, are less drying to the skin and can be obtained with a prescription from your dermatologist.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Treatment

A bleaching agent, such as hydroquinone, can improve the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Low concentrations of up to 2 percent hydroquinone are available over the counter, while a 4 percent hydroquinone topical treatment is available with a prescription, notes the American Academy of Dermatology.

About the Author

Claire McAdams

Based in Los Angeles, Claire McAdams has been writing professionally since 2006. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and also online at MaestroCompany.com and SoCal.com. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Belmont University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science from King College.