If you should cut yourself in any way then it is highly important to clean the wound and to remove any potential dirt or bacteria that could otherwise get inside and lead to an infection. However when doing this it is very important to think about what you are using to clean your cuts and whether this might have any adverse side effects as well as helping to kill off germs.
Hydrogen peroxide is a solution made up of oxygen and hydrogen and is a strong oxidizer that can be used as a bleach or cleaning agent and is very effective in preventing infection. To this end it is often found in a range of disinfectants and products designed for the cleaning of wounds – however what’s important to also remember is that in high quantities hydrogen peroxide can actually be bad for you and cause a number of problems.
Hydrogen peroxide first and foremost is something only to be used topically on the skin ad never to be ingested. Should you inhale or swallow it then it is highly dangerous and you should consume activated charcoal to prevent the ill effects and follow this up with a visit to a local hospital.
At the same time hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous when absorbed through the skin and this is what’s potentially of interest here. First of all, hydrogen peroxide may contain too much oxygen for the blood leading to potential issues. Meanwhile it is also a potential carcinogen and the oxidative stress on the skin cells might (very mildly) increase the chances of developing cancer. Finally it may also result in a range of adverse reactions for sensitive skins.
Finally, while the hydrogen peroxide might be effective for killing off germs, it can also actually slow down the healing of wounds by damaging the white blood cells which are required for skin repair. At the same time it can actually damage the skin around the wound.
What to Use
If you use hydrogen peroxide-based products on occasion then you should find you are at minimum risk. These products are usually only 3% hydrogen peroxide with 97% water (hair dyes are 5% meanwhile). Anything higher than that should be avoided.
However while you can use hydrogen peroxide, why use something that is likely to cause problems when there are many other products out there? Believe it or not the best way to clean a wound is simply to use a little water and soap and this should normally be enough to prevent an infection.