Hydrogen peroxide, a chemical compound made of a combination of water and hydrogen, is often used as a tool to help with hair bleaching, but there are many other uses for this chemical as well. When individuals purchase hydrogen peroxide, it tends to be available in several different potencies. For use in households, a three percent dilution is typical. For hair bleaching, the potency is usually from six to ten percent. Food-grade hydrogen peroxide comes with a thirty-five percent potency. If it’s being used in industrial areas, the potency is ninety percent. As long as individuals use hydrogen peroxide as directed, there are some healthy uses.
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Mild Topical Antiseptic
Hydrogen peroxide is often used as a mild topical antiseptic. It can be applied to the skin to help prevent minor burns, scrapes, and cuts from becoming infected. Individuals should only use hydrogen peroxide on mild abrasions, and it should never be used to disinfect deep wounds. It also shouldn’t be used on serious burns or animal bites. If individuals apply hydrogen peroxide to their skin, it should only be in small areas. The usual recommended treatment is to apply the solution to the wound one to three times each day until it heals. Doctors might sometimes have a different recommendation, though; if that’s the case, patients should always follow their doctor’s advice. If patients put a bandage over the scrape or abrasion after treating it, they should let the area dry out naturally first. If a wound doesn’t improve within seven days, or the antiseptic appears to make the condition worse, patients should talk to a doctor. Some common side effects include irritation, stinging, and redness around the application site. Serious side effects are rare.
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