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    Can usage of hydrogen peroxide on the skin cause a chemical burn?

Posted on Wed, 23 Aug 2017 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hello my name is XXXX. I was cleaning a sore on my face with peroxide and I think that it caused a chemical burn from using peroxide and my face wash/wipes that has salicylic acid and alcohol in it. My skin turned white after I applied the peroxide with a cotton ball. Now my skin is turning red and it burns. What should I do?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
monitor, anti inflammatory, one cleanser, topical antibiotic

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Peroxide can cause wounds to turn white temporarily, this would normally only occur for a few minutes.
It is important to only apply the cleaning agents to the affected areas and not to the normal skin.

The burning is also temporarily, this should start to decrease within minutes though it may not completely resolve.

The redness of the sore itself and the immediate surrounding skin is normal but it should extend too far beyond the sore.
A red cut/bruise/sore, usually mean that there is no infection present. .. no pus present.

There is no need to apply multiple cleansers/chemicals, this would irritate the skin too much.
You should use either the dilute peroxide or the wipes when you clean it next tomorrow.

If it is very painful then the use of anti inflammatory pain medication would be helpful. The burning is due to inflammation of the skin from the sore and also from the chemicals, so the anti inflammatory meds would help eg naproxen, ibuprofen, cataflam

You can consider the use of a topical antibiotic to the area twice daily

Summary: (1) burning would decrease, can monitor
(2)if it is very severe however, the use of anti inflammatory meds would help
(3)use only one cleanser, can be done twice daily. Can use one of the above or use a normal saline cleanser (salt water).
Salt water is a very good cleanser
(4)topical antibiotic

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions


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