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Hydrogen Peroxide Side Effects

Side Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide You Didn't Know Until Now

The chemical combination of hydrogen and oxygen, gives you a product called "hydrogen peroxide". This compound has various uses as well as side effects. This article discusses the hydrogen peroxide side effects. Scroll down to know more.
Divya Bichu
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
There is no chemical substance as interesting as hydrogen peroxide. Firstly its chemical formula H2O2, therefore, logically it ought to be called hydrogen dioxide, but it's called hydrogen peroxide! Secondly, it comes with a number of uses, benefits, and healing properties, but at the same time, has equal number of side effects. A little mismatch in the concentration and it can prove to be poisonous and can cause damage. That's how interesting it is. Well! As the title suggests, we are going to be discuss hydrogen peroxide side effects.
On Skin
Skin whiteners, skin brighteners and skin lighteners, and all of them contain hydrogen peroxide as one of their main ingredients. After all it is a bleaching agent that helps lighten the skin tone. But do you know it has quite a lot of side effects too.
  • An overuse of H2O2 can cause damage to DNA cells, and prevent them from replicating, hence leading to premature aging.
  • The use of hydrogen peroxide can cause your skin to dry out or rather drains away the moisture content in skin, which is required to keep your skin looking young and supple.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is also used to treat acne. No doubt it is an excellent disinfectant, but the excess use of the same can cause skin irritation and can leave your skin dehydrated and dull.
  • Recent studies show that H2O2, used as an antiseptic to treat wounds, actually obstructs scarless healing, since it destroys the newly formed cells.
  • Vitiligo is a disease that is marked by the loss of skin pigment, which affects a lot of people. Studies show that it is due to the high levels of hydrogen peroxide in the blood and epidermis.
On Teeth
Hydrogen peroxide has been used as a teeth whitening agent for a very long time. It is very effective indeed. However, there have been side effects observed, if used improperly or in odd concentration. Let us examine them.
  • It can cause irritation in gums and teeth, since H2O2 is a highly reactive compound.
  • Tooth sensitivity and gum pain are also caused due to the overuse of this reactive compound H2O2.
  • Overuse of hydrogen peroxide can lead to discoloration of teeth enamel and make it appear brownish-yellow.
  • Hydrogen peroxide being highly reactive, can easily pass through your tooth's enamel and react with the dentin and pulp part of your tooth.
  • The tissues inside your mouth are affected and become sensitive as a result of hydrogen peroxide overuse.
  • Porous dental work that has been done, such as cementing or dental amalgams, are likely to be damaged with the use of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Throat soreness is another common side effect of hydrogen peroxide, if swallowed by mistake while gargling.
  • Excess use of hydrogen peroxide as a teeth whitening agent can make your teeth sensitive to hot and cold substances.
  • Prolonged use of this highly reactive compound can cause your teeth to become brittle and result in discoloration.
Other Common
  • H2O2¬†is used as a cleaner to clean windows, floors, furniture, and so on. But overuse or prolonged use can cause the surface to lose its shine and become rough, as hydrogen peroxide is highly acidic.
  • Hydrogen peroxide solution, when used on metallic things for a long time, can cause corrosion.
  • In many countries, hydrogen peroxide is used to purify drinking water. However, large doses of the same may cause blisters in mouth, irritation in abdomen, and can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Concentrated hydrogen peroxide spontaneously ignites if spilled on flammable materials.
  • Hydrogen peroxide compounds are highly reactive and volatile.
It is important to follow the safety precautions and be careful, if you are a regular user of this compound, hydrogen peroxide, to keep safe from its side effects.