Hydrogen Peroxide to Cure Acne and Scars

Hydrogren Peroxide to Treat Acne and Scars

Table of Contents

Acne is one of the most common skin diseases around the world. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology, 50 million people suffer from some kind of acne just in the United States!

Apart from being the most common complaint teenagers have about their appearance, they can be linked with serious health issues as well.

Acne is primarily caused by a strain of bacteria. So the question arises, what happens if we use a potent disinfecting agent to remove these bacteria?

When it comes to potent disinfecting agents, hydrogen peroxide stands tall. Not only is it able to kill all types of bacteria indiscriminately, but it is also the only disinfecting agent that is compatible in being used over the body. So, how effective is hydrogen peroxide in treating acne? And are there any added benefits of using hydrogen peroxide?

We will be answering these questions and much more. So without further ado, let’s start!

How Does Acne Occur?

Before we can thoroughly discuss how hydrogen peroxide can be effective against acne, we first have to identify the agents that cause acne and some potential ways we can stop it.

Acne vulgaris, often just called acne, is nothing but a type of inflammation of the skin cells. More particularly, the cells responsible for producing oil over your skin, e.g., sebaceous glands, get infected by bacteria and germs.

Which then leads to a counter-attack from the body in the form of red pustules and cysts, usually called acne pimples. Therefore, acne is a chronic inflammation of your sebaceous glands.

Now, the body is manufactured in a way that controls the production of chemicals. So if sebaceous glands are part of the body’s normal functioning, why do they become infected? That’s because, due to a particular reason, the sebaceous glands start producing excessive oil.

And, if you may recall from your biology classes, germs and bacteria love to grow on moisture. Moreover, the sebum (oil produced by sebaceous glands) provides nutrition to the bacteria, making them more susceptible.

One of the causes that lead to excessive sebum production is hormones. Therefore, you see many teenagers struggling with acne and pimple scars.

Another factor is not maintaining your skin hygiene. Though it varies with the type of skin, you should wash your face 2-3 times daily, especially in the summers where sweat and dirt are more likely to clog your pores.

Now that we know some of the causes of acne, we can move on to discuss how hydrogen peroxide can provide us with a solution!

Hydrogen Peroxide and Acne

Now, if you read the causes of acne keenly, chances are you might already know how hydrogen peroxide can be effective in treating acne.

The primary agent for acne is bacterial growth. And as you might recall, hydrogen peroxide is one of the best disinfecting agents we have in the market.

Another factor that contributes to the increased risk of acne is higher sebum production. Hydrogen peroxide shows properties that limit sebum production to some extent, giving you relief from this nuisance.

Let’s discuss these aspects of hydrogen peroxide action thoroughly!

Hydrogen Peroxide’s Bactericidal Properties

The relation of hydrogen peroxide with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties is a very close one. Just like we associate Ferrari with speed, hydrogen peroxide is associated with disinfection.

Before we link some studies as to how hydrogen peroxide is one of the best disinfecting agents, we first have to acknowledge how that happens.

The primary way through hydrogen peroxide can eliminate all kinds of bacteria and germs is via reactive oxygen it liberates. Hydrogen peroxide is a lab-made chemical, which contains water with additional oxygen.

This oxygen is loosely bound, and when it comes into contact with air or sun, it frizzles (as seen in the bubbling when hydrogen peroxide is applied) away germs.

This oxygen can react with vital cell organelles of the microbe, change their composition and end their virulency.

Therefore, hydrogen peroxide can be used over all kinds of microbes, from bacteria to fungi, without any fall in potency.

The dangerous bacteria Propionibacterium acnes is also included in its field of efficacy. This bacteria is one of the primary reasons for acne. P acnes infect glands from any part of your body, especially the sites that show increased sebum production. Therefore, it is the culprit for the acne on the face, neck, chest, and back.

This similar effect was observed by German scientists in their research paper. They showed how hydrogen peroxide could kill all types of germs and elevate immune responses to fight off these organisms.

Another study pointed to the amazing impact hydrogen peroxide has on microbes and its synergistic relation with baking soda.

Hydrogen Peroxide’s Ability to Reduce Sebum Production

The second aspect of hydrogen peroxide’s mechanism in reducing skin acne is reducing the amount of sebum produced from sebaceous glands.

An article published in Springer shows the close relationship between hydrogen peroxide and reduced sebum production. This effect is mediated by a gene called p-53. This gene is a known agent in all anti-acne therapies.

Therefore, when hydrogen peroxide is induced inside the cells, it increases oxidative stress. This oxidative stress is responsible for the production of p-53.

P-53 is then responsible for initiating a complicated set of mechanisms that end with apoptosis (cellular death) of some sebocytes (cells that produce sebum), leading to a decrease in sebum production.

Therefore, it is safe to say that all anti-acne therapies have a common denominator, p-53. This leads to the popular rumor “hydrogen peroxide dries up pimples”.

When in reality, hydrogen peroxide dries up sebum, which is then responsible for less microbial attack and less acne.

Considering all this data, it is not surprising that scientists have found hydrogen peroxide reduces the number of acne lesions. And many more articles recommend hydrogen peroxide therapy for people suffering from moderate to severe acne!

5 Most Practical Methods Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Cure Acne and Scars

Now that we know exactly what are the causes of acne and how hydrogen peroxide can be a treatment plan for common acne outbreaks, we can move on to discuss how we can incorporate it into our daily life.

Below are some examples of how you can use hydrogen peroxide and some agents with which you can combine it for better results!

3% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution for Acne

The great thing about hydrogen peroxide is how it cuts down long and strenuous steps and makes the procedure so easy.

The same goes for treating acne using hydrogen peroxide. Just a splash of good ol’ 3% hydrogen peroxide might just do the trick!

What You Need

The list of ingredients is rather simple and short:

How to Use

  • Dip the cotton swab in 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Put the wet swab precisely over the pimple
  • Make sure to limit the area of exposure to hydrogen peroxide
  • Remove the cotton swab after 5 seconds

Five seconds are more than enough for hydrogen peroxide to deposit at the site of inflammation and start bubbling. Moreover, experts recommend using hydrogen peroxide twice daily for no more than two consecutive days.

If you don’t see any improvements in that time, discontinue the use of hydrogen peroxide and contact a dermatologist.

Why Does it Work?

Hydrogen peroxide is able to treat your acne and acne scars by controlling two basic principles behind the acne outbreak: bacterial growth and sebum production.

These points have been discussed thoroughly in the above sections. However, to sum it all up, hydrogen peroxide is potent in killing bacteria and germs, which are the primary cause of acne.

Secondly, hydrogen peroxide has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, as backed by research. The mechanism behind hydrogen peroxide’s way of action is rather complex. However, the end result is a reduction in the number of sebum secreting cells and thus less chance of a bacterial outbreak. This phenomenon is especially important for people suffering from oily-skin acne.

3% Hydrogen Peroxide and Lemon Juice for Acne

On paper, these two agents can intimidate some people. Combining hydrogen peroxide with lemon can be harsher than all the procedures, but it has its benefits as well.

Moreover, lemon provides some added benefits to the skin that lone hydrogen peroxide might not, such as protective antioxidant properties.

What You Need

The list of ingredients is much similar to the previous procedure but with an additional agent:

How to Use

  • Make a solution by mixing one tea-spoon lemon per 50 ml of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Dip a cotton swab in the solution
  • Apply the soaked swab over the pimple
  • Make sure to limit the area of exposure
  • Remove it after 5 seconds

You may notice that the procedure is simple and quick to follow. Five seconds are more than enough for hydrogen peroxide and lemon to start their reaction, helping you get rid of those nasty pimples.

Why Does it Work?

Using lemon alongside hydrogen peroxide is a two-step benefit than using regular bottles of hydrogen peroxide.

Apart from resolving your savory cravings, lemon is an amazing antioxidizing agent. What it means is that it is able to remove reactive oxygen species (ROS) present inside the cell and prevent cellular damage. That’s because it contains essential vitamins that help in the formation of antioxidant proteins. This effect is fluently expressed in this research paper.

Secondly, lemon has acidic properties. When it combines with hydrogen peroxide, it is able to provide a low pH environment that promotes the release of extra oxygen from hydrogen peroxide.

Therefore, when you look at it objectively, using lemon along with hydrogen can give you a safety factor for cells through its antioxidant properties as well as promote the killing of microbes through better dissociation of oxygen from the peroxide molecule.

One thing you should keep in mind is to avoid using lemon if you have sensitive skin. Lemon can cause irritations and even aggravate acne growth if it is applied for longer periods. A better pick would be to use aloe vera along with hydrogen peroxide.

3% Hydrogen Peroxide and Aloe Vera for Acne and Scars

Another agent that goes really well with hydrogen peroxide is aloe vera.

Aloe vera is a special type of plant characterized by its thick, succulent leaves that contain a gel-like extract. As it turns out, this extract contains all kinds of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants, which really promote skin health and repair.

We have discussed below how you can use aloe vera effectively alongside hydrogen peroxide!

What You Need

  • Cotton Swab
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • One tablespoon aloe vera

How to Use

In this procedure, we aim to first remove the bacteria and germs using hydrogen peroxide then apply aloe vera for added benefits.

The procedure is exactly the same as in the first process, however after removing the cotton swab and allowing hydrogen peroxide to react, apply aloe vera.

Make sure that the site has completely stopped bubbling and is dry when you apply aloe vera. The process yields the best results overnight.

Why Does it Work?

When it comes to skin health and repair, aloe vera is the talk of the town. This extract from the leaves of a special aloe vera plant has amazing benefits for the skin and prevents the side effects commonly associated with hydrogen peroxide.

The benefits of using aloe vera for skin are better explained by this article published in Springer. The researchers highlighted how the extract from the aloe vera plant contains amazing vitamins and antioxidant properties, which are extremely beneficial for skin health.

Therefore, experts recommend using aloe vera if you are someone who spends a lot of time under sunlight. The UV-rays from the sun are known agents of producing ROS inside the cells. These can be very harmful and can even lead to cancer.

Using aloe vera alongside hydrogen peroxide is similar to using lemon. However, aloe vera provides a much more soothing effect than the former. If you have sensitive skin and are worried about irritations commonly associated with hydrogen peroxide use, we strongly recommend using aloe vera!

3% Hydrogen Peroxide and Natural Moisturizers for Acne and Scars

Ointments are external interventions that can be really helpful if other procedures don’t seem to work. The defining feature of a great moisturizer is the amount of skin-friendly.

Besides, opting for something that’s recommended by doctors after consulting is the best way to go.

What You Need

  • Cotton swab
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Moisturizing cream (preferably containing retinoic acid, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid)

How to Use

The procedure is very similar to the one with aloe vera. But in this particular one, we aim to apply moisturizer instead of the natural aloe vera.

Some great moisturizers and ointment creams contain even more vitamins and skin-friendly chemicals than aloe vera, making it an amazing treatment plan for acne.

You would want to apply moisturizer after the hydrogen peroxide effect has taken place (similar to what we did with aloe vera). Apply the cream for more than 3 hours for the best results!

Why Does it Work?

While hydrogen peroxide can be an amazing home remedy, it is ideal to use company-manufactured skin ointments. These OTC creams not only contain hydrogen peroxide but also some essential healthy skin chemicals such as hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, retinoic acid, and benzoyl peroxide.

Speaking of which, benzoyl peroxide is a distant cousin of hydrogen peroxide that has amazing antibacterial properties as well. Many experts go as far as recommending benzoyl peroxide over hydrogen peroxide because of a more mild nature on the skin.

You Must Not Overuse Hydrogen Peroxide – Safety Precautions!

The next step in effectively utilizing hydrogen peroxide for your acne and wounds lies in knowledge about its side effects.

Although hydrogen peroxide is a relatively safe chemical to use, acne and wound scars require a higher degree of safety precautions and handling, especially with a disinfecting agent.

Therefore, hydrogen peroxide also needs careful observation during its procedure, albeit it is a safe chemical to use.

The most important factor you must consider while using hydrogen peroxide is not to overdo it. This means controlling the frequency of your procedures, as well as being mindful about the concentration you are using.

We recommend using 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration as it is best for human use.

Higher exposure to hydrogen peroxide leads to irritation of the skin at the site of contact. Moreover, if you are allergic to hydrogen peroxide, definitely use other therapy options instead of the chemical.

Make sure to always check hydrogen peroxide’s effect on your skin by dropping a few drops on it.

At even higher concentrations, hydrogen peroxide leads to painful blisters and skin burns. Therefore, avoid the use of higher concentrated hydrogen peroxide solutions such as 35% food-grade ones.

One rare yet fatal complication of hydrogen peroxide use over deep wounds is its tendency to lodge bubbles into the bloodstream.

If the cut is deep enough, the oxygen bubbles hydrogen peroxide liberates can move inside the blood and cause blockage of arteries at vital points (this phenomenon is called gas embolism). If the embolus lodges in cerebral (brain) or coronary (heart) vessels, the complications can be fatal.

Though this is very rare to happen and occurs only within deep cuts and high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide.

The Final Verdict

Acne is one of the most common problems teenagers and adults face all around the world. Not only do they make your skin unhealthy, but they make the person self-conscious about his appearance as well.

While there are a myriad of treatment procedures available for treating skin and getting rid of acne, hydrogen peroxide is one that is the most convenient and easy to follow.

The trusty bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide is available in almost all homes that have a first-aid toolbox.

Given its amazing antimicrobial and sebum decreasing properties, it establishes itself as a great agent for treating all kinds of acne.

So if you are someone that suffers from the same problem, order your set of hydrogen peroxide bottles today!

Faizan Khan
Faizan Khan
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