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Hydrogen Peroxide Uses in Health Care

Cleaning Cuts

Most doctors today will never advise you to use hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds. It kills not just bacteria cells but the healthy ones as well. It will also damage fibroblast cells necessary for healing as well as destroy antibodies that fight infection. As a result, a wound will take much longer to heal. What doctors will recommend you to use is good old soap and water instead. However, hydrogen peroxide is still a great item to have in a first aid kit if you’re in a pinch and nowhere with clean water.

Once you see it start bubbling, you’ll know it’s working.

Disinfectant

People have been using hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant for decades. Even hospitals use them to disinfect hard surfaces. It does its job to kill bacteria through oxidation and dissipates by turning into harmless water. That makes it non-toxic and safer than commercial bleach products and chlorine. The 3% household-grade approved by the FDA for home use can kill rhinovirus, the common cause of colds. What doctors frown upon is using it to disinfect wounds because it also kills the affected tissue.

Hair Dye

People have long used Hydrogen peroxide to bleach hair. Nevertheless, don’t overdo as it can your scalp and damage your hair. It’s also critical that you never bleach your hair if it’s in bad condition. Mix equal parts of household peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Spray your hair but don’t go full blonde in one sitting. Use a comb while spraying to spread it out evenly and leave it there for about half an hour. Take great care not to get any of the stuff in your eyes or inhale the mist.

Teeth Whitener

Most teeth whiteners contain hydrogen peroxide as a bleaching agent, and your dentist will apply a more potent version. However, such products have H2O2 concentrations as high as 10%. Too high concentrations will end up eroding the enamel, which is the outer shell of the teeth. It can also damage gums with overuse. But studies have suggested that dilution of H2O2 isn’t a bad thing. Household peroxide contains only 3%, and you can mix it with baking soda on a dish to make a paste. Apply it to your teeth in a circular motion for about a minute and let it sit for another few minutes.

Swollen Gums

If your gums become swollen, it may be because of disease or improper brushing and flossing. You can gargle with a solution of equal parts water and 3% household-grade hydrogen peroxide. Swish it in your mouth for about half a minute, being very careful that you don’t swallow any, then spit it out. If the problem doesn’t go away after a week, go to the doctor because it may be more severe than you thought.

Canker Sores

Canker sores usually clear out after a week, but they can be painful and make it hard for anyone to talk or eat. First, rinse the sores with equal parts of water and household hydrogen peroxide. Gargle with it for half a minute before spitting it out. Next, apply the solution directly on the sore using a cotton ball, and rinse again with water. Also, don’t swallow even a tiny bit of the solution. Be mindful that this remedy can hurt even more than the sore but only takes a few minutes.

Acne

As with skin whitening products, hydrogen peroxide has found its way in many over-the-counter acne products. People used it for years to treat minor wounds, and infected acne is just like a small wound on the face. You can apply it directly to the affected area using cotton balls. However, remember only to do this method sparingly and not as a routine. Do it only to stop an infection. To be on the safe side, you can dilute one tablespoon of the 3% solution with three tablespoons of water.

Earwax

Our ears produce this disgusting slime to protect the ear canal from infection from moisture. Medically speaking, it’s not essential to remove it. However, sometimes the ears produce too much, so that regular cleaning is necessary to prevent accumulation. If left unattended, ears become clogged, and the wax will harden. By then, you’ll have a more considerable problem in your hands. A doctor would use a curette or a suction device to remove it safely. You can soften the ear wax buildup with drops of H2O2.

The next day, try to rinse it off carefully with some warm water over a sink. An ear syringe would do the best job. Bend your head sideways until all of it drains out. Then dry your ears with a towel when finished.

Seborrheic Keratoses

You’ll often find these growths on the face, neck, and around the upper torso of older adults. Despite resembling scaly barnacles, they’re harmless. However, Seborrheic Keratoses growths are unsightly, especially when they appear in clusters. Many people want them removed for cosmetic reasons. A dermatologist would likely recommend Eskata. It’s a topical cream containing 40% hydrogen peroxide and approved by the FDA for treating this growth.

Cancer

There have been several claims that H2O2 can help fight cancer or other major illnesses like diabetes. People in alternative medicine swear by it. You can also find products in health stores that contain food-grade (35%) H2O2 that also claim similar benefits. However, there’s zero evidence or scientific research that can substantiate their validity. It’s best to talk to a specialist first about alternative cures or treatments before trying any of them.

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