3 Ways to Use Hydrogen Peroxide on Skin

Hydrogen peroxide solution is a combination of oxygen and hydrogen. It works as a mild antiseptic and helps prevent infection of minor cuts, burns and scrapes. You can also use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse to relieve mouth irritation caused by cold sores or canker sores. It also helps remove mucus and is effective against gingivitis. You have to follow specific directions when using hydrogen peroxide on your skin. Consult your doctor first if you have any concern. Read for the three main ways of using hydrogen peroxide on skin.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Wound Treatment

Anaerobic bacteria are behind most skin infections but the presence of oxygen inhibits their growth. That is why a typical OTC 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is quite effective against this type of bacterial infection.

How to Use

  • Start by cleaning the affected area properly.
  • Take the solution and apply it on the affected area at least twice a day or as directed by your doctor.
  • Apply the bandage only when the affected area has dried completely.
  • Use soap and water to wash your hands after you apply the solution.

Avoid using peroxide on deep wounds, animal bites, puncture bites or serious burns and keep it out of the reach of children. Be sure to consult your doctor if the application of peroxide has not improved your condition in a week or so.

Tips for Safe Use

It is usually safe to use hydrogen peroxide to treat minor burns and wounds, but you should also watch out for side effects. Talk to your doctor if:

  • You develop redness or a stinging sensation after the application of peroxide.
  • You develop an allergic reaction and experience symptoms such as severe dizziness, swelling of the tongue or face, rash, and breathing difficulties.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Skin Bleaching

While hydrogen peroxide is widely used as an antiseptic, you can also use it to lighten your skin. Using hydrogen peroxide on skin may help you deal with age spots, skin discoloration, scars and blemishes. You can find it as an ingredient in different products like lotions, creams, whiteners, and fade creams.

How to Use

Only use peroxide when you are sure you are not allergic to it. Apply some behind your ears to check how your skin reacts to it.

  • Use 6% hydrogen peroxide to lighten your skin. Do not opt for a solution over 20 volumes, or you may end up dealing with a skin reaction.
  • Wash the area of the skin that you want to lighten – use facial cream and water and then dry with a towel.
  • Exfoliate your skin once you have cleaned the area. Massage the area in circular movements.
  • Take some cotton wool and dampen it with the hydrogen peroxide solution. Now, apply it to the area that you want to lighten. Be sure to tap the area several times and then leave the solution on for about 20 minutes or so.
  • Use warm water to remove the solution and then dry the area with a towel. 

Tips for Safe Use

You can use hydrogen peroxide on skin and help clear skin blemishes, but stop using it if you develop any side effects. Some of the most common side effects include the following:

  • You may notice your skin become dry because of an overuse of hydrogen peroxide – this reduces the moisture content in the skin and leads to premature aging.
  • You may lose dark skin pigment due to an overuse of hydrogen peroxide and this may lead to the development of vitiligo disease.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide with care because it can bleach the hair on your skin and cause discoloration.
  • You may sustain damage to the DNA cells by using an excessive amount of hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Acne

While hydrogen peroxide helps with acne, it is a temporary solution only. The reason is that it only treats your symptoms and does nothing to address the root cause. Nevertheless, hydrogen peroxide can actually help kill the bacteria on your skin and prevent further pimples.

How to Use

  • Start by cleaning your face with a cleanser or mild soap. Use a towel to dry your face.
  • Take a cotton ball, soak it in the solution and then apply it to your pimples.
  • Leave it on for a while. You may notice some bubbles, which indicates that the peroxide is doing its work.
  • Rinse your face with fresh water after the bubbling stops.

Tips for Safe Use

  • Opt for a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution to avoid burning your skin.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide on skin sparingly to avoid any damage to your skin cells.
  • Do not let hydrogen peroxide touch your eyes. This may cause a burning sensation.
  • Ensure that you do not expose your eyebrows to the solution because it can bleach hair.
  • Do not use hydrogen peroxide if you develop a reaction. Discontinue its use if your skin becomes irritated and dry. 
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