Should you use hydrogen peroxide or just plain soap and water to clean a minor wound?

When learning First Aid in the 1970s, I was taught to use hydrogen peroxide to clean minor wounds, cuts and scrapes. But is that the best advice?

Cuts and scrapes and minor wounds open up your skin and create an opportunity for bacteria to growth and to infect the area. The initial cleaning of a wound is important to flush out unwanted bacteria and to create a healing environment.

Prior to bandaging, most people either use soap and water or hydrogen peroxide to clean a minor wound. But which is better? In other words, which is the most effective cleaner that will do the job, but not disturb the tissue to encourage healing?

Is Hydrogen Peroxide The Best Option?

Hydrogen peroxide has been used since the 1920s as an effective antiseptic to kill bacteria. It bubbles and it burns as it does its job. Hydrogen peroxide is safer and more effective than rubbing alcohol and doesn't stain like iodine. The bubbling action converts hydrogen peroxide into oxygen gas and water.

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Updated: Dec 18, 2018

Chronic pain can be devastating, both physically and emotionally and can impact almost every aspect of someone’s life.

The opioid epidemic in the United States is a major problem for our society.  Opioid addiction and related opioid deaths are an epidemic that are occurring in almost every community and at every socioeconomic level.

What is Pain?

Pain should be our ally and not our enemy.  Pain is a warning sign that there is a problem.  If the pain gets worse during an activity, it is a good idea to curtail that activity.  

Pain is a complex and multifactoral experience and many areas of the brain are involved.

There are pain endings called nociceptors. It is normal to have several billion nociceptor nerve ending firings in the human body per second, even when a person isn’t in pain. The vast majority of these impulses are filtered out.

Pain isn’t perceived until the nociceptor firings are significantly increased.


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