Since the 1920’s hydrogen peroxide has been used as an antiseptic as it is effective at killing bacteria. This is an antiseptic that prevents the growth of disease-causing microorganisms. When applying hydrogen peroxide to a cut or scrape, you have taken the first step in initially cleaning of the wound to flush out bacteria and leaving in its place, an environment to help this wound to heal.
How Hydrogen Peroxide Works On A Wound
Dabbing hydrogen peroxide on your cut may cause a little discomfort as it activates pain receptors in your cut as it kills the bacteria. Your body will heal itself but the healing is faster and better with the aid of hydrogen peroxide. It works by breaking the cell membranes open by attracting electrons. The bacteria is an enzyme called catalase, which causes the fizzing seen when hydrogen peroxide reacts with the enzyme and releases oxygen molecule. This is a very good antiseptic but it isn’t able to distinguish between healthy cells and those of the bacteria in the wound, so it will attract electrons from your healthy cell membranes, killing them and reacting with the catalase in your cells. The catalase in the cells is powerless against hydrogen peroxide.
Today clinicians do not recommend using antiseptic solutions, even hydrogen peroxide, because they will often destroy your healthy cells slowing the healing and increasing the risk of scar tissue formation. But, if you do need an effective antiseptic, peroxide is far safer than rubbing alcohol.
Triclosan May Increase Scar Formation
Dial bar soap made the first claim in the 1940’s even though the first patent for antibacterial soap was filed in 1984. A chemical call hexachlorophene, an antibacterial agent, now proven to cause brain damage in infants, was used in Dial. The company was ordered to remove this chemical from their soap in 1970. The chemical triclosan is used today in antibacterial soaps even though there are mountains of research showing negative health concerns that it triggers.
Triclosan is not recommended because it prolongs wound healing and increases risk of scar formation ( although this is found in most of the toothpaste on the markets now). Other reasons not to use soap with this chemical substance are:
- Endocrine hormone disruption
- Increased cancer risk
- Inhibition of aquatic bacteria and algae necessary for balanced ecosystem
- antibiotic resistance, increased allergies to peanuts and hay fever
- interference with muscle contraction and activity
- biomagnification of the fat-soluble product, disrupted thyroid function
- disrupts thyroid hormone gene expression.
How To Cleanse Your Wound Properly
To properly cleanse a cut, scrape or wound is with a safe, mild soap and lots of water. Use a soap without triclosan, triclocarban or fragrance. Wash your hands before cleansing your wound. Some moderate bleeding can occur while cleaning the wound. Use direct pressure to stop any bleeding and elevate the area above your heart level. Rinsing your wound with water for 5 to 10 minutes helps to remove dirt and debris from the area, then use a mild soap with a clean washcloth to cleanse the area. Cover the wound to keep it moist and clean so that scabbing won’t occur so the wound will heal better and will be less likely to scar.