PSA: Stop using hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds

I’m willing to bet that the majority of us, upon injuring ourselves, naturally reach for hydrogen peroxide to disinfect said wound. And, really, why wouldn’t we; most of us have been under the impression that hydrogen peroxide is the best agent when it comes to cleaning cuts, scrapes and more, but I am here to inform you that we have all been quite wrong about this for quite some time.

I’ve seen a handful of videos posted by medical doctors asking folks to stop using hydrogen peroxide to disinfect wounds. I was intrigued, so I decided to watch, and I am glad I did seeing as I, too, have always used hydrogen peroxide to clean out whatever gaping cuts I happen to have on my body at any given time.

Hydrogen peroxide, when applied to an open sore, issues an oxidation burst. I could be wrong, but speaking from experience, I’m thinking this oxidation burst refers to when peroxide fizzes up when it encounters bacteria. While most of us are under the impression that this process is cleaning out a wound, it isn’t, and hydrogen peroxide actually slows down the healing rate of a wound because it doesn’t necessarily react to germs.

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve always found it to be rather satisfying watching peroxide bubble up when it hits a gnarly cut.

One medical doctor in a video I watched actually recommended cleaning open sores with soap and warm water, which makes sense when you think about it. He further explained that he had seen a number of patients with wounds that had become infected because they were only using hydrogen peroxide to clean them.

Interesting, right?

This isn’t to say hydrogen peroxide isn’t useful, because it absolutely is for a variety of cleaning purposes – just not to clean cuts and scrapes.

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