James Q. Del Rosso, DO: How Should Clinicians Respond to the Report on Benzene?

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In this interview segment, Del Rosso further explores the steps patients and clinicians should take in considering the recent Valisure report on benzene risk for skincare products with benzoyl peroxide.

In this segment of his interview with the HCPLive editorial team, James Q. Del Rosso, DO, spoke about considerations for clinicians to make regarding the report by autonomous quality assurance organization Valisure on the levels of benzene in acne products which feature benzoyl peroxide (BPO) as an ingredient.

Del Rosso is known for his work as both a dermatologist and research director for JDR Dermatology Research in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the interview, he spoke in his capacity as a dermatologist rather than as a representative of any other organization.

“Now, what's meant for clinicians and what should they tell their patients?” Del Rosso said. “So the American Acne and Rosacea society’s board got together. We wrote in our response statement to this and to put a statement out there from the society on this…So until there's further guidance from the FDA, on the verification of the safety and stability of benzoyl peroxide products, we believe that if you are using a benzoyl peroxide product, work with your dermatologist, or your clinician within that dermatology practice.”

Del Rosso noted the value of physician assistants or nurse practitioners within dermatology practices as well, explaining that any of these individuals should be trusted by the patient to make the best decision prior to any further information by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

He was also asked about what steps patients using benzoyl peroxide products should be urged to take in light of these developments.

“If you're electing to continue to use benzoyl peroxide, which I'm told many people are doing until they get more definitive information, as they want some guidance on how to handle it, the first thing is to look at your product and check the expiration date,” Del Rosso said. “If it's past the expiration date, certainly don't use it…There are storage statements about how to store it, so follow those. In most of these, it’s recommended at room temperature and some of them even tell you to discard them after a certain amount of time. That could be 3 months or 3 months.”

Del Rosso also commented on other recommendations, noting the importance of keeping such products in places with cooler temperatures, with the goal being not breaking down benzoyl peroxide into benzene.

“Don't keep it in a hot place,” he said. “We have every reason to believe that greater amounts of heat exposure can lead to benzoyl peroxide being degraded to benzene. So you want to avoid that. Don't keep it near a heater in your house. Don't keep it in your hot car. Don't put it on a windowsill where the sun is. It's recommended to keep the product in the refrigerator.”

To learn more about this information, view the full interview segment posted above.

The quotes used in this description were edited for the purposes of clarity.

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