When someone scrapes their knee or gets a cut outside, you may reach for hydrogen peroxide to clean this area and prevent infection. While hydrogen peroxide is great in these instances of brand new wounds, it should not be your standby daily treatment. Hydrogen peroxide works wonders to remove debris from wounds (dirt,grass,etc.) — you can even see it working (bubble,bubble,bubble). The harm with overuse of hydrogen peroxide is that it is by nature, cytotoxic. “Cyto” refers to cells and toxic — well, you get the idea. Hydrogen peroxide kills cells on contact. This is why when the goal is to assure that no harmful bacteria are present in a wound initially, the use of this product is reasonable. Using it on the same cut once or twice a day will actually inhibit healing.
The same goes for ingrown nails. All too often we see neglected ingrown nails that are overly swollen, red, draining and painful. When asked if these were treated at home, I have heard about hydrogen peroxide and even bleach being used. This is a big part of the problem. In order to heal, your body must be able to mount an inflammatory reaction, but this healing process ceases when the cells involved in healing are killed from certain treatments.
If you have a wound, cut, scrape or ingrown nail it is best to have the condition assessed by a professional. One visit can equip you with the appropriate course of action to follow and will minimize the risk of needing a procedure or a series of appointments later down the line.