Some antiseptic solutions have a soothing effect on the skin, while others feel like they're stinging or burning. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the latter. It's common for the disinfected wound to flare up with a pins-and-needles, stinging feeling. Alcohol is another type of disinfectant that has this stinging effect when used on open wounds, but the chemical reactions that cause hydrogen peroxide and alcohol to sting are actually different. Individuals might notice there's a 'fizzing' when they pour hydrogen peroxide on their wounds. There hasn't been full documentation of what exactly causes the stinging feeling. One paper showed evidence that the solution activated a pain receptor on certain nerve cells. The pain receptor activated by hydrogen peroxide is TRPA1, while the one activated by alcohol is TRPV1. These pain receptors tend to be similar in structure, and many of them can be found in the same cells. The purpose of TRPA1 is to tell individuals when harmful chemicals have been exposed to their skin, including components like hydrogen peroxide and tear gas.
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