Hydrogen Peroxide & Wounds

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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