Benzoyl peroxide has an antibacterial effect. It also has a mild drying effect, which allows excess oils and dirt to be easily washed away from the skin. Benzoyl peroxide topical (for the skin) is used to treat acne. There are many brands and forms of benzoyl peroxide available and not all brands are listed on this leaflet. Benzoyl peroxide topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.