Stop Cleaning Cuts With Hydrogen Peroxide

Stop Cleaning Cuts With Hydrogen Peroxide

Every kid knows the painful yet satisfying sensation of hydrogen peroxide fizzing in a wound. That fizzing occurs as a result of a chemical reaction between the hydrogen peroxide and bacteria—specifically, an enzyme in bacteria called catalase. Unfortunately, hydrogen peroxide targets the catalase in all cells, not just that of the bacteria you're trying to kill. That means it will destroy your body's healthy cells, too. At the least, this reaction slows down the healing process. However, there have been instances where the oxygen bubbles created in a hydrogen-peroxide reaction actually enter blood vessels and cause what's known as an oxygen embolism, which blocks the flow of blood. So what should you use when you get a minor cut or scrape? Experts recommend bypassing the antiseptics and simply cleaning it with soap and water. Hear more medical myths in the videos below.

Why Shouldn't You Clean Wounds With Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hank Green explains why the old standby is a bad idea.

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