Hydrogen peroxide refers to a chemical substance in the form of a colorless liquid. It is chemically called H2O2, which means it is water with one more oxygen molecule. The extra oxygen is the oxidation molecule in hydrogen peroxide. It is responsible for killing germs and bleaching color on porous surfaces such as fabrics. The extra oxygen accounts for 3% of the content of hydrogen peroxide. The remaining 97% is water.
Hydrogen peroxide has many uses. It’s an effective substance common in most personal care and cleaning products, laundry stain removers, and bathroom cleaners, among others. The colorless liquid is also associated with a wide range of health benefits. So how can hydrogen peroxide help to improve your health and well-being?
Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing and bleaching agent used in skincare and cleaning products and an antiseptic. Low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, 10% or less, work as an excellent bleach and disinfectant for the skin.
Hydrogen peroxide also is used to treat acne, hyperpigmentation, and wounds. According to HealthLine, some products containing 35% H2O2 are widely used as a treatment to cure some forms of cancer, diabetes, and lupus, among other medical conditions. The substance releases an oxygen molecule to cause foaming that removes dead skin cells. Below is a detailed explanation of some of the top health benefits of hydrogen peroxide.
1. Whitening Teeth
Though there are several effective teeth whitening products in stores, hydrogen peroxide can be more effective than most of them. It acts as a bleaching agent that can make your teeth whiter and healthier. To whiten your teeth at home using hydrogen peroxide, mix two tablespoons of it with one tablespoon of baking soda. The mixture will be a non-gritty paste that you should use to brush your teeth for approximately two minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
However, ensure to use the non-gritty paste no more than three times weekly. Otherwise, you will cause more harm than good to your teeth and gum. Too much of it can break down your tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity.
2. Helps with Gum Disease
Dental plaque has a form of bacteria known as biofilm that many teeth whitening procedures cannot eliminate. When plaque and biofilm form in your tooth lining, the results can be gum disease that can cause decay, and tooth cracks, or more damages. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective antibacterial agent that can help destroy the biofilm contained in plaque and offer relief to patients with gum disease.
3. Clearing Earwax Blockages
Too much buildup of earwax inside your ear can demand the service of a medical expert to remove it. But since prevention is the best cure always, if you are prone to an earwax blockage, you can avoid the problem by using hydrogen peroxide to prevent excessive accumulation.
To clear an earwax blockage with hydrogen peroxide, mix equal amounts of the substance with water. Pour the mixture inside an eyedropper, and use it to pour a few drops inside your ear canal. That will soften your earwax, which you can remove with a soft cloth. However, you should not attempt this method when you have an ear infection unless your doctor recommends it.
4. Treating Acne and Wounds
Acne occurs due to clogged pores. The clogging of pores is from the buildup of bacteria and dirt on your skin. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective product to destroy the bacteria that cause acne. When used to zap acne, its effectiveness is like benzoyl peroxide, the mainstay pimple, and acne treatment.
Hydrogen peroxide can also help with scrapes and cuts. It has germ-killing abilities that can clean and disinfect any surface on your wound that it contacts. The substance can heal wounds and lighten the discoloration and marks left behind.
Though there are many benefits to using hydrogen peroxide, there are also a few side effects. The inappropriate concentration of hydrogen peroxide can compromise wound healing and cause skin irritation. When inhaled or swallowed, the substance can be toxic.
So before you think of using hydrogen peroxide for any reason, ensure to consult an expert physician to be guided accordingly. Ensure to use hydrogen peroxide as recommended by your healthcare provider if you want to experience the immense health benefits it offers.
Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction. If interested in the health properties of hydrogen peroxide, she recommends 35% H2O2.