Hydrogen peroxide has been used as a mild antiseptic for decades. The primary purpose is to prevent minor burns, scrapes, and cuts from becoming infected. There are also a variety of non-medicinal uses for the compound. Some individuals might find relief if they use it as a mouth rinse to relieve mouth irritation caused by gingivitis, cold sores, canker sores, or other mild internal wounds. In addition, the compound can sometimes get rid of mucus when used to rinse the mouth. When the compound makes contact with the area, it releases oxygen and foams. This removes the dead skin and debris from around the area, preventing it from getting infected with bacteria. It's important not to use hydrogen peroxide to clean animal bites, serious burns, or deep wounds. It does have some potential side effects.
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One potential side effect of hydrogen peroxide is skin redness. The solution cannot easily be absorbed through non-wounded skin. If there are solutions of ten percent applied to the skin, it can be extremely irritating and even cause damage, which can lead to redness and discomfort. Ten percent solutions are most commonly found in hydrogen peroxide hair bleaching solutions, which should always be touched with gloves. Household disinfectants that use hydrogen peroxide tend to have concentrations of between three and five percent. They have a mildly irritating effect on the skin and mucous membranes, which can also lead to mild redness. Doses of three percent concentration have been deemed 'safe' for handling with the skin, but they can still cause redness and discomfort when used on sensitive skin. This is particularly true if individuals use the solution for the sake of skin whitening or trying to clear acne scars rather than as a disinfecting agent. Medical professionals don't tend to use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect wounds anymore because of the effect it has on sensitive skin.
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