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Have you ever used hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant on a cut? If so, you've probably noticed how peroxide bubbles on a wound, yet doesn't form bubbles if you pour it over intact skin. Why is this?

Many people think peroxide bubbles when it reacts with infected tissue, but bubbles form even on fresh cuts, which haven't had time to develop an infection. What's happening is the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is catalyzed by a specific enzyme, catalase, to form water (H2O) and oxygen (O2). Catalase is found in blood, inside cells and in some bacteria. The oxidation disinfects, but it also kills some living cells, such as newly formed skin cells. For this reason it's best to avoid using peroxide after a wound has started to heal, since a scar may be more likely to form as a result... Read more


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