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Should You Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Wounds?

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Hydrogen Peroxide: It fizzes, it stings, but does it actually do you any good? Find out on this week's Quick Question! Hosted by: Hank Green ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters -- we couldn't make SciShow without them! Shout out to Justin Ove, Fatima Iqbal, Linnea Boyev, Kathy & Tim Philip, Kevin Bealer, Justin Lentz, Chris Peters, and Philippe von Bergen. ---------- Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/scishow ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources:
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Text Comments (2346)
Damien Lucier (12 days ago)
Dorissa Claire (1 month ago)
Then why did my doctor tell me to use it to clean a surgical incision? Is it eating my cells as well? *gasp*
Wenjin Chua (1 month ago)
Why do some hospitals use hydrogen peroxide to treat patients’ wounds? +SciShow
George Peter Enriquez (1 month ago)
Got it. I have a wound and its already healing then I put HydrogenPeroxide after washing the wound and it become fresh again.
jaster mereel (1 month ago)
that burn means it's working you pussies
Goat Eli (1 month ago)
I’m bleeding while watching this video
PathisNarrow (2 months ago)
Will McKenzie (2 months ago)
SteveVi0lence (2 months ago)
I just used it to deep clean a worsening wound. And I had to scrap out green and pus. At the end of the day, a clean wound is better than leaving it to fester.
Riana Krista Mandia (3 months ago)
It always depends on what kind of wound you are having... There's no hydrogen peroxide that could heal the wound of a painful past. 💔💔💔
Hmm (6 months ago)
My mom has been lying to me... well if anything I'll just use it when I get the wound very recently just to kill any other bacteria. Then just use water and soap.
ILIJA1993 (7 months ago)
This is medicaly wrong, hydrogen is good for small wounds and scratches. It kills bacteria, especially anaerobic ones, and also washes out all the dirt with bubbles(which are created in reaction with proteins). Also it does not hurt, unless the wound contaminated witj bactera or if the wound is deep (in witch case you should not even touch it, just get a doctor).
levi plopper (7 months ago)
Is dnews a trusted source cause i put peroxide in a open wound hole in my toe and i might of killed a section of my toe
Tempria~ (7 months ago)
Can I still use it to clean my ears?
Micheal Jones (7 months ago)
What about using it in your ear? Used it as a kid to clean ear wax and dirt
spidermeow2014 (7 months ago)
However, in the case that you worry about flesh-eating bacteria infection, it may be wise to treat the wound with H2O2 before bandaging it. A little pain from the bubbles may save a lot of worrying or worse.
NoodleDaddy (7 months ago)
my mom always told me the fizzing meant it was working??
Maryia Lucia (7 months ago)
I cleaned a knife with it
John Pfeifer (7 months ago)
i never clean my cuts.. or use bandaids or anything. never had one get infected before. your immune system will never learn to kill bacteria if you never let it. one time i was working on a 40 year old engine.. coated in old nasty grease and dirt.. my hands were caked in it, and i accidently took a chunk out of my thumb.. i wrapped it in my shirt and kept working.. when it wouldn't stop bleeding i wrapped it in toilet paper and electrical tape and never bothered to wash it out. took the tape off the next day and let it heal. didn't even get all the nasty old dirt and grease out till like a week later.
FGV Cosmic (7 months ago)
Real men use fleuroantimonic acid
TechPimp (7 months ago)
Can you use it as mouth wash?
LCARS43278 (7 months ago)
I'm happy to give up a few healthy cells to avoid an infection thanks.
SnowblindOtter (7 months ago)
If you have to use antiseptic, iodine tinctures are the best way to go about that.
krioco Dough (7 months ago)
Why dont use a solution of it , like a dilluted version???
Fusion Tricycle (7 months ago)
Than when would you use hydrogen peroxide if you use it at all?
Curls (7 months ago)
Can we use salt?
theblackdeath357 (7 months ago)
What about isopropyl alcohol?
Ron White (7 months ago)
There's a crime scene cleanup outfit who uses lots of peroxide to dilute blood before sucking it up with a vacuum cleaner. They prefer peroxide over bleach.
vin 950 (7 months ago)
I usually just use superglue. It works like a charm, and seals the wound in the process, as long as you wipe off the blood first. Otherwise you get a long string of solid blood instead, and the wound stays open. I used to do a lot of flintknapping with obsidian, and so my hands used to be covered in tiny cuts, and since obsidian is so sharp, even a tiny cut is enough to leak quite a bit of blood. And hands slippery or sticky with blood make holding onto the stone really hard. So superglue fixes the problem real quick. Other than that, I have used pine resin that I collect and purify for making varnish. a small chunk of warmed up resin tends to cover a wound rather well, and its antibacterial on top of that. I have heard honey also works.
What about iodine
K Harrop (8 months ago)
Could you use hydrogen peroxide on cancer cells then ??
emilee yh. (8 months ago)
Peroxide of any kind gives me a rash I had to explain that to my neighbor when I gashed open my knee
Wtf, why dont people use alcohol to clean their wounds?
Hydrogen peroxide doesn't hurt tho, at least it didn't for me, that's why I used it.
Vladimir Pereira (8 months ago)
He looks like John Green
DOT (8 months ago)
I have never seen a child bounce off of a wall in my life.
Ferny Carrasco (9 months ago)
In my country we use iodopovidone whenever you cut yourself or something like that, and when I went to live to the use I found it so weird that people used hydrogen peroxide xD idk why
Abbie Moorcroft (9 months ago)
That awkward moment when you realise you use an antiseptic on your acne...
Onyx-Niight (9 months ago)
What about rubbing alcohol
theITproductions1 (9 months ago)
I remember I had a pretty nasty cut on my knee and my mom insisted on using hydrogen peroxide. It burned like hell, and it fizzed... Finally I can prove what I've been saying all along...
Haley Garcia (9 months ago)
(Through experience) some wounds do benefit from the short use of the peroxide. As in, don't leave it on the wound for more than 30 seconds. In one instance, I had a canker sore on the inside of my lip for over a week. A white-ish scab had formed over it, apparently preventing/prolonging the healing process. I applied a small amount (so small that I used a Q-tip to dry it up after) and let it sit until the scab was gone. The sore was gone in 2 days. I'm not recommending this if you don't trust yourself, as ingesting this stuff can cause some really, really serious problems- so just be very careful if you do chose to do this. As for any other wounds, as the video stated, if it's serious please see a doctor, and if it's not don't worry about it because it'll be gone shortly.
TazeMeBro McCleskey (10 months ago)
Yeah I was putting it on a wound daily because after a shower the scab would slide off. I have a half an inch diameter scar that was larger than the actual wound. (Shot with a pellet gun in chest shirtless)
pippo spano (10 months ago)
here's to a good piece of bad advice.
obiwahn dagobah (10 months ago)
Never heard of treating wounds with Hydrogen Peroxide. Is that an American thing? It sounds like pre-World-War medicine
futbal (10 months ago)
what happens if we spray it like more than 7 or 9 it that bad?
Idaho Spud (10 months ago)
My doctors agree with this video.
Geflügel HNZ (11 months ago)
I wouldn't use an antispetic either. An antiseptic would go for me, though
Perfect Skin (11 months ago)
you really don't want to use water to clean cuts, considering what they put in water. alcohol or hydrogen peroxide are not only good at killing bacteria , but they both damage nerve receptors creating heat to warm up the dermis layers so that skin can fully regenerate.
Zenzetsu [Elite] (11 months ago)
1:45 Most doctors and researchers wouldn't recommend using an antispetic
verifiedmartian (11 months ago)
I'm 16 and I skin my knee all the time because I run and my left ankle always folds up, it ain't child exclusive!
Lord Escanor (11 months ago)
Hydrogen Peroxide is used as a debridling agent in wound care and oral health. Essentially you use it to break down foreign materials in a wound. Its extremely good at removing dirt from wounds compared to alcohol and allows the aid to see the remaining particles unlike Iodine. Soap is still better because of its ability to capture oils which most pathogens and bacteria enjoy floating in.
Michael King (11 months ago)
The difference is we can make new cells. Just don't overuse peroxide
That Fact Guy (11 months ago)
Typo at 1:41... it says "antispetic"
Xtreme J (11 months ago)
I cut my knee riding my bike when I was younger. I poured this stuff on the cut every friday for 2 months. I ended up with REALLY bad staph infection. I had to get surgery 3 months later
_pudu (1 year ago)
Can you use it on dogs? What if the dogs licks it?
Megan Martinez (1 year ago)
It is good to use hydrogen peroxide on some wounds. Like cat bites. Cats can carry bacteria that is dangerous to humans. The needle like teeth that cats have cause thin, deep wounds that heal over quickly, trapping the bacteria inside. Using hydrogen peroxide to clean it out gets rid of most of the bacteria and causes your body to heal a bit slower, so that whatever is left doesn't get trapped inside.
Ivan Samodelkin (1 year ago)
We always use hydrogen peroxide not to clean wounds but rather to stop the bleeding
Roland Lee (1 year ago)
Mix it with acetone.
Adam B (1 year ago)
just use Dettol lol
speedsterone (1 year ago)
I use bleach, then swallow a few mouthfuls just to be sure
P K (1 year ago)
I am a real man, I clean my wounds with fire and molten iron as the Gods of Metal intended! So if you may excuse me, I'm drinking my dayly dose of gasoline now.
The Real Flenuan (1 year ago)
Doesn't soap also kill all cells
RJ 1999 (1 year ago)
This guy has no idea what he's talking about. I've used hydrogen peroxide on cuts and wounds and even an infected toe, it works great, no pain what so ever and heals much quicker than nothing at all.
Dreamlicker (1 year ago)
The reason you shouldn't use it is because it further damages you. It impedes the healing process instead of aiding it.
if peroxide doesn't care what cells it kills,then could hydrogen peroxide be used to cure cancer because it could kill all the excessive cells
Jacob J (1 year ago)
just burn it off with a blowtorch hi the blowtorch burning your skin for about 15 minutes straight you have a small chance of getting a 6th degree burn but it kills the bacteria
King DAmnJoon (1 year ago)
but...the fizz is so SAtiFyinG!
A. J. (1 year ago)
antispectic should be antiseptic, lol
S.S .A (1 year ago)
Answer: You shouldn't.
Chromosome Extract (1 year ago)
Or use alcohol, like rubbing alcohol works well as far as I see.
Marky Mark 9OOI (1 year ago)
so neosporin isn't good?
Pigeons 101 (1 year ago)
I use it to stop wounds from getting infected. Works great, clean it, keep neosporin on it with a bandaid until it heels. If it's in a spot that isn't great for a bandaid, I rub salt in it before bed. Yes salt, by morning the cut is looking a lot better.
Jimmy D (1 year ago)
you have a typo at 1:44 : antispetic instead of antiseptic
I use alcohol
ElectricPyroclast (1 year ago)
When would alcohol be appropriate for treating wounds instead of water/soap?
As a nurse, we generally don't use hydrogen peroxide on wounds (even though I grew up using it all the time!). When I rarely use hydrogen peroxide for things at work, I usually dilute it with normal saline. Simple wounds, I tell my patients normal saline (which I give them) or soap and water.
Jingya Sun (1 year ago)
What about rubbing alcohol?
Science Vids (1 year ago)
Or you could have just told me I've been doing it wrong for 27 years!! 😂😭😋😎
ASBQuez (1 year ago)
In bio class, I also learned hydrogen peroxide is used to kill anaerobic bacteria (which means bacteria that have to live in an oxygen-free environment, such as the inside of your body) because the oxygen it produces will kill the anaerobes, too.
fcfdroid (1 year ago)
Felix Stöger (1 year ago)
Maybe I'm misinformed, but it to me appears as if some methods used in 'Merica are rather crude... I'm from Austria and nobody would EVER use Hydrogen Peroxide on a wound. Nobody I know even has any at home... Over here, we have close to 10 different disinfectants specifically designed to treating wounds the most effective yet nondestructive ways...
jose Munoz (1 year ago)
real man use spit and electrical tape
ReZisT Lust (1 year ago)
if your ever hurt just remember... drink your own piss and everything will be ok
Paradox (1 year ago)
I just fucking used it -_-
roguedogx (1 year ago)
no neosporan, really?
Apsody (1 year ago)
Interesting , too bad i didnt see this before i cut my finger, i cut a bit of my finger and after a day it got infected , so i used hydrogen peroxide (oxigenated water) to clean the wound, and i would put my finger in it and hold it in there for minutes, i like how it went very bubbly but it also sometimes hurt and sting, i thought it was normal ,that it was killing the infection.
O Fira (1 year ago)
I will still use peroxide. It helped speed up the healing process on my wounds. The second after the fizzing subsides I pour distilled water on it to rinse excess peroxide off.
Jacno77 (1 year ago)
don't just use cold water and soap, use polysporin. Cells can move faster in a wet environment (in this case polysporin is sterile, so it doesn't have to fight bacteria also). If your cells move faster it can also heal faster. If a wound takes to long to heal scar tissue starts to take the place of normal skin
Adrian Heys (1 year ago)
So you're telling me, that Hydrogen Peroxide literally tears cells apart. That's pretty cool.
Fedora Molded (1 year ago)
Vatra (1 year ago)
I find a personal humour in the fact that I just used hydrogen peroxide on a wound for the first time in quite possibly a decade, or perhaps longer. After doing so I open youtube and this is the first video in my suggested. I've concluding youtube is stalking me.
Vatra (1 year ago)
I find a personal humour in the fact that I just used hydrogen peroxide on a wound for the first time in quite possibly a decade, or perhaps longer. After doing so I open youtube and this is the first video in my suggested. I've concluding youtube is stalking me.
Andrew R (1 year ago)
I don't think I've ever used hydrogen peroxide
FarrierJess (1 year ago)
I am a vet tech, and one thing we use peroxide for (besides cleaning up blood) is MAYBE, SOMETIMES, IF WE LACK ANOTHER THING TO USE, the very first cleaning of a wound. Beyond that it's too aggressive, as stated in the video. BUT if you get a cut or a scrape that doesn't need professional medical attention, and all you have is peroxide, it's not unheard of to be encouraged to use it for the initial cleaning. Beyond that, soap and water. Chlorahexadine is a good choice, one we use VERY often, because it's not as dangerous to your own cells. You can get it at Walmart. Chlorahex is also our go-to agent for initial cleanings, but when you're out on a farm call, sometimes all you've got is peroxide.
Cluckery Duckery (1 year ago)
rubbing alcohol. yeah, it hurts like hell... but that just means it's working... maybe, i don't know. that's just what I use
starpravesh (1 year ago)
1:43 Spelling error. It is spelled Antispetic in the video when it should be antiseptic.
Bradley Irving (8 months ago)
Its just a typo
Brian O'Sullivan (1 year ago)
Steve B (1 year ago)
peroxide had definitely helped me clean a would on my hand that kept getting infected and turning red after weeks of cleaning regularly. sooo
DarkHorns (1 year ago)
Would pouring honey on a wound kill bacteria?
SBVCP (1 year ago)
What? hydrogen peroxide ("oxygenized water in my country) does not sting at all! not like alcohol (who strangely, stop stinging when you blow)

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