It turns out that the bottle of hydrogen peroxide you have in the bathroom really does nothing for small cuts and scrapes. Check out this article from the New York Times that talks about how peroxide use for cuts is really not all that effective. Of course don’t miss our video below that shows what you can do with concentrated hydrogen peroxide.
We’ve received a few questions about hydrogen peroxide and it’s effectiveness on small cuts and scrapes. Here are a few more references on the topic.
As part of the Mayo Clinic’s directions for cleaning a wound they recommend not using peroxide:
Clean the wound. Rinse out the wound with clear water. Soap can irritate the wound, so try to keep it out of the actual wound. If dirt or debris remains in the wound after washing, use tweezers cleaned with alcohol to remove the particles. If debris still remains, see your doctor. Thorough cleaning reduces the risk of infection and tetanus. To clean the area around the wound, use soap and a washcloth. There’s no need to use hydrogen peroxide, iodine or an iodine-containing cleanser.
This paper from the Journal, Wounds (a peer reviewed journal focusing on wound care and wound research) presents Antiseptics on Wounds: An Area of Controversy. Where the conclusion on the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide is:
“In conclusion, hydrogen peroxide appears not to negatively influence wound healing, but it is also ineffective in reducing the bacterial count. However, it may be useful as a chemical debriding agent. The American Medical Association concluded that the effervescence of hydrogen peroxide might provide some mechanical benefit in loosening debris and necrotic tissue of the wound.”
Download and read the full article with references.
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