Medical Myth Buster: Hydrogen Peroxide and Wounds

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   One of moms favorite old remedies for an injury was placing hydrogen peroxide on a wound. When you see the bubble effect it means its working and you know the area is nice and clean. An increasing amount of evidence in the scientific community suggests that this may not be the best choice.

   Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent disinfectant, meaning it does kill a wide variety of potentially infection causing bacteria. However, peroxide has also been shown to be harmful to healing human skin cells. This fact may not be of critical importance when cleaning a cut or scrap on a young, healthy person, but for those higher risk patients with diabetes or poor circulation it can be significant. The routine application of peroxide to wounds in patients with diabetes and/or poor circulation may impede healing and should be avoided. Patients with diabetes should always consult their doctor in regards to what they should be placing on any wound. There is an old saying in wound care that if the wound is wet dry it out and if its dry wet it. This means if you have a draining wound you want to place a dressing on that will absorb moisture and if the wound is dry you want to keep the wound moist with an antibacterial ointment or cream. 

   Hydrogen peroxide is also a weak acid and a dehydrating chemical, so soaking the feet in peroxide can cause the skin to become dried out and should be avoided. A one time application of peroxide to clean a cut or scrap in a healthy individual is a good technique for wound disinfection, but the routine usage of peroxide should be avoided, particularly in diabetics.

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Guest Friday, 24 November 2017

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