Does it hurt to clean a wound with hydrogen peroxide?

Update Date: Source: Network

Hydrogen Peroxide as a Strong Oxidizer

Hydrogen peroxide, a transparent liquid, belongs to the category of strong oxidizers. It is suitable for wound disinfection, food disinfection, and environmental disinfection. Typically, hydrogen peroxide is gradually decomposed into oxygen and water, with a relatively slow decomposition rate. When using hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds, one should be cautious as some individuals are sensitive to pain, especially when the injured area is large. The pain sensation can be quite pronounced during wound wiping. Let's explore the question: Does it hurt to use hydrogen peroxide to wash wounds?

Does It Hurt to Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Wash Wounds?

Under normal circumstances, using hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds will indeed cause pain. However, the severity of the pain depends on the size of the wound and the individual's sensitivity to pain. For larger wounds, a larger area needs to be wiped with hydrogen peroxide, resulting in a relatively higher level of pain compared to smaller wounds. People also vary in their sensitivity to pain, so even with the same wound size and the same amount of hydrogen peroxide used, one person may feel intense pain while another may only feel slight discomfort.

Ignoring individual differences in pain sensitivity, the main reason for the pain caused by wiping wounds with hydrogen peroxide lies in the chemical reaction between its components and the blood and secretions at the wound site. The most significant factor leading to pain is the process of eliminating anaerobic bacteria, other bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms deep within the wound, which can irritate the wound and cause pain.

What to Do if It Hurts After Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean a Wound?

Hydrogen peroxide has oxidizing properties. Medical-grade hydrogen peroxide has a concentration equal to or lower than 3%. When applied to a wound, it may cause a burning sensation and turn the surface white. This can be rinsed off with water, and the original skin color will return after 3-5 minutes. If the pain caused by hydrogen peroxide is intolerable, it is recommended to switch to using iodophor for disinfection and sterilization, as it is less irritating to the wound.

Hydrogen peroxide solution is suitable for the treatment of suppurative otitis externa and otitis media, Vincent's angina, gingival abscess, tonsillitis, and for cleaning wounds. Slight pain is normal and should not be a concern. It is important to focus on preventing wound infection, and generally, shallow wounds will not leave scars. Although it may cause pain, hydrogen peroxide is effective, especially in killing anaerobic bacteria.

Sometimes, we intentionally soak wounds in hydrogen peroxide. Don't worry, there are no negative effects besides the pain. While pain is inevitable after cleaning a wound with hydrogen peroxide, it will pass after a period of time, so there is no need for excessive concern.