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Could this popular antiseptic be very toxic?

  1. Aug 26, 2005 #1
    I've heard and read a few times before that the popular 3% hydrogen peroxide topical antiseptic solution is very toxic and impedes the healing process, which I ignored a lot of time. Today, I read from a very realiable medical source that many tests have been done and they found out that hydrogen peroxide actually damages the outside layer of the skin and impairs cells called fibroblasts, which is crucial to the healing process. I used hydrogen peroxide a couple of times before and come to think it if, I remember that it took an unusually longer amount of time to heal than if I put some antiboitics like neomycin, gentacmicin, or bactracin on it. There's a very good chance it is very toxic, because at 5% it is a bleaching agent. At 3%, it's foaming action is similar to that of the 5%, so it's still toxic. At any rate, I'm going to stop using hydrogen peroxide for my wounds.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2005 #2


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    Hydrogen peroxide is often (usually) available in 2-3% solution. It is for topical (external use) only, and I have had good experience with it. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer. I have found that it promotes healing and kills bacteria that would otherwise infect a wound.
  4. Aug 26, 2005 #3


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    A solution containing a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and betadine works very well for flushing out deep wounds showing signs of infection. Peroxide itself is toxic if taken internally, but when you treat a cut with it, the peroxidases in blood rapidly convert it to water and oxygen (that's what that foaming action is). It's most useful in things like puncture wounds or deep cuts where the oxygen prevents anaerobic bacteria from infecting the wound. For more superficial wounds, you don't really need to do much more than wash well with soap and water and keep it clean. The most damage to the tissue surrounding a cut is done by the cut itself, and the inflammation process that accompanies it.

    Antibiotics don't all work for all bacteria, and overuse or misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, so that's not necessarily the best option unless you start to develop an infection that requires treating.
  5. Aug 26, 2005 #4


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    hydrogen peroxide is a carcinogen so i wont just pour that over your wound, but then again what doesnt cause cancer these days :uhh:
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