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Effect of benzoyl peroxide on lipogenesis in sebaceous glands using an animal model

Author(s): Burkhart CG, Butcher C, Burkhart CN, Lehmann PF


Background: Benzoyl peroxide is the most widely used topical agent for acne since the 1960s. Concomitant treatment of benzoyl peroxide with oral, or topical antibiotics diminishes the multiplication of antibiotic-resistant strains of Propionibacteria acnes. Besides being antibacterial, the chemical also functions as a peeling agent, has comedolytic activity, reduces free fatty acid levels, and is touted to be sebosuppressive. Objective: The purpose was to determine the ability of topically applied benzoyl peroxide to suppress lipogenesis of the sebaceous glands. Methods: The data were obtained employing an animal model for human sebaceous glands, namely, the flank organs of female golden Syrian hamsters. Results: Our results reveal no inhibition of lipogenesis in sebaceous glands by topical application of benzoyl peroxide. Conclusion: Despite many functions beneficial in acne therapy, benzoyl peroxide does not possess sebosuppressive capabilities. With the advent of water-soluble organic peroxides revealing similar antimicrobial activity to benzoyl peroxide, all therapeutic parameters (save for sebosup-pression) will need to be assessed to weigh the benefits of these second-generation acne-fighting peroxides.

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