Although hydrogen peroxide is often touted as an all-in-one solution for many problems, the use of hydrogen peroxide for psoriasis flare-ups is not always straightforward.
While a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can aid in reducing certain psoriasis symptoms, it’s important to understand its limitations before using it as a treatment.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what hydrogen peroxide can do for your psoriasis and how to use it safely and effectively. So, if you’re interested in learning more, keep reading!
What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a clear, colorless liquid that is made up of water (H2O) and oxygen (O2). It is commonly used as a disinfectant and bleaching agent due to its ability to break down into water and oxygen, which makes it a powerful oxidizing agent.
Hydrogen peroxide is readily available at most drugstores and can be purchased in varying concentrations, usually ranging from 3% to 35%. The 3% solution is commonly found in households and is used for wound care and as a cleaning agent, while the higher concentrations are typically used for industrial purposes.
Hydrogen peroxide has a wide range of applications beyond disinfection and bleaching. It is also used in the production of paper and textiles, as well as in the food industry for sterilization and preservation. In addition, it has been studied for its potential medical uses, such as in the treatment of cancer and as an alternative to antibiotics.
However, it’s important to note that hydrogen peroxide can be toxic at high concentrations, and it should always be handled with care. When used properly and in appropriate concentrations, hydrogen peroxide can be a useful tool for various applications, including for treating psoriasis symptoms.
How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Help Psoriasis?
One way that hydrogen peroxide may be helpful in managing psoriasis symptoms is through its ability to act as an antimicrobial agent. Psoriasis is believed to be linked to an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria on the skin. Hydrogen peroxide can help to kill these bacteria and other microorganisms, which may help reduce inflammation and prevent infection.
Additionally, hydrogen peroxide has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce the redness, itching, and scaling associated with psoriasis. It does this by promoting the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines in the skin, which can help to reduce the overactive immune response that is characteristic of psoriasis.
Another potential benefit of hydrogen peroxide for psoriasis is its exfoliating properties. Psoriasis can cause the skin to become thick and scaly, which can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Hydrogen peroxide can help to gently exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and other debris that can contribute to scaling.
It’s important to note, however, that hydrogen peroxide should not be used as a standalone treatment for psoriasis, and its effectiveness may vary from person to person.
Benefits of Using Hydrogen Peroxide for Psoriasis
When done right hydrogen peroxide can ease some of the main psoriasis symptoms, it can:
Disinfect and Be Used as an Antiseptic
As everyone knows hydrogen peroxide is mostly used as a disinfectant.
The general recommendation is to keep away from the skin, but when you use the lowest concentration one (3%) and limit the usage only to the affected area, you can benefit from it.
When used in a determined spot, hydrogen peroxide can act as a powerful disinfectant and a strong antiseptic.
And such is the case for some of the psoriasis flakes who infect due to nail scratching. You can use hydrogen peroxide to mitigate the spread of any possible infection.
Although there are other solutions for it, if you want first-hand help without recurring to OTC solutions, you can use hydrogen peroxide to be your first barrier of defense.
Clean Free Radicals and Germs
One of the best things hydrogen peroxide can do for you is to release any free radicals and germs that attack your hair and scalp.
This is mainly useful if you are dealing with a severe case of scalp psoriasis. You will be able to treat specific critical spots with it without having to overload your entire scalp.
Just have in mind that hydrogen peroxide can bleach your hair. Make sure you don’t end up using it too much if you don’t want bleaching spots all over your hair.
Aid Nail Health
This one is very useful for people who are dealing with “nail psoriasis”. It’s now easy to have psoriasis in your nails, not to mention the physical aspect of them.
They turn yellow and become very fragile, hydrogen peroxide can help restore a healthy color to your nails, and additionally, it will kill any bacteria and nail fungus that can infiltrate during this period.
Aid Foot Health
When you are dealing with psoriasis in your feet, it may be hard to find something that acts fast and clears whatever is bothering you.
Luckily, hydrogen peroxide when combined with distilled water can become a powerful anti-fungal agent for psoriasis in the feet.
By submerging your feet into this solution you are treating any hard spots to reach (like under the nails) and between all of your fingers. All in under 5 minutes.
How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide in Psoriasis?
It is really simple to use hydrogen peroxide for psoriasis, you just need:
- Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
- Cotton Balls
- Distilled Water (Only used for feet) – Optional
- Plastic Tub (Only used for feet)
You can find hydrogen peroxide in any drugstore or grocery store, this solution is perfect to stop psoriasis flares from spreading in that current spot, and to stop ANY itching.
For general use:
Before using hydrogen peroxide to help manage your psoriasis symptoms, it’s important to use it safely and effectively. With that, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Choose the right concentration: The most commonly available hydrogen peroxide solution is a 3% concentration, which is safe to use on the skin. Higher concentrations can be irritating or even burn the skin. Always use a 3% solution or lower.
- Test it first: Before applying hydrogen peroxide to a large area of skin, it’s a good idea to test it on a small patch of skin first to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction. Apply a small amount of the solution to the inside of your wrist or another inconspicuous area and wait 24 hours to see if you experience any redness or irritation.
- Apply it carefully: Use a cotton ball or swab to apply the hydrogen peroxide to the affected area. Be careful not to get it in your eyes or mouth, and avoid applying it to healthy skin or open wounds.
- Use it in moderation: While hydrogen peroxide can be helpful in managing psoriasis symptoms, it should not be used too frequently or in excessive amounts. Overuse of hydrogen peroxide can cause dryness and irritation, which can worsen psoriasis symptoms.
- Follow up with moisturizer: After applying hydrogen peroxide, it’s a good idea to follow up with a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to help keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness.
- Consult with a healthcare provider: It’s always best to talk to a healthcare provider before trying a new treatment for psoriasis or any other medical condition. They can help you determine if hydrogen peroxide is safe and appropriate for your specific needs.
Remember, while hydrogen peroxide can be a useful tool in managing psoriasis symptoms, it should always be used with care and in consultation with a healthcare provider.
For treating psoriasis inside your ears use cotton swabs dipped in hydrogen peroxide and use them gently in the affected areas.
Caution: You can use this method for certain spots of scalp psoriasis as well, but know beforehand that hydrogen peroxide will act as a bleacher in your hair, and will cause bleached spots. If you are ok with it, feel free to continue.
For Nails and Feet
To use hydrogen peroxide for nails and feet affected by psoriasis, follow these steps:
- Prepare a solution: Mix equal parts distilled water and 3% hydrogen peroxide in a plastic tub or container. You don’t need to fill up the whole tub, just enough to submerge your nails and/or toes.
- Soak your nails or feet: Submerge your affected nails or feet in the solution for 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse and dry: After soaking, rinse your nails or feet with clean water and dry thoroughly.
- Apply moisturizer: Follow up with a fragrance-free moisturizer to help keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness.
- Repeat regularly: Repeat this process regularly, once or twice a day, for a couple of weeks. If successful, you should start to see improvements in the appearance of your nails and feet.
Pro tip: Some skins will be very sensitive and will not indulge in the use of hydrogen peroxide (3%). Feel free to do a patch test before advancing for this treatment and make sure it’s okay to do it without any side effects.
Please have in mind that some areas of psoriasis may scab over. But as long as you don’t scratch, they will not infect and they will cure fine over time.
Side Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide on Psoriasis
While hydrogen peroxide can be helpful for some people with psoriasis, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects. Some of the side effects associated with hydrogen peroxide include:
- Skin irritation: Hydrogen peroxide can cause skin irritation, redness, and burning sensations. In some cases, it can also lead to blistering of the skin.
- Worsening of wounds: If used on open wounds, hydrogen peroxide can cause them to become more severe and critical. It can slow down the healing process and lead to scarring.
- Increased risk of infection: Hydrogen peroxide can also damage healthy cells in the body, which can increase the risk of infection. This is especially true if it’s used excessively or for prolonged periods.
It’s important to use hydrogen peroxide as directed and to avoid applying it to healthy skin or open wounds. If you experience any adverse reactions or side effects, stop using it and consult with a healthcare provider.
Can You Wash the Psoriasis in Your Body With Hydrogen Peroxide?
It’s not recommended to wash your entire body with hydrogen peroxide to treat psoriasis. While hydrogen peroxide can be beneficial in small doses to treat localized psoriasis, using it on your entire body can cause harmful reactions if swallowed or inhaled.
Some of the potential reactions from overusing hydrogen peroxide on your skin and throughout your body include:
- Coughing: Inhaling hydrogen peroxide can cause coughing and respiratory distress.
- Shortness of breath: Inhaling hydrogen peroxide can also lead to shortness of breath and other respiratory issues.
- Skin reactions: Using hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations or on large areas of the skin can cause burning, bleeding, blistering, and other skin irritations.
It’s important to follow the recommended guidelines and use hydrogen peroxide as directed. Never apply it to large areas of your skin, and avoid inhaling or swallowing it. If you experience any adverse reactions or side effects, stop using it immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.
Cautions to Have When Using Hydrogen Peroxide on Psoriasis
While hydrogen peroxide can be a helpful treatment for psoriasis, it’s essential to take certain precautions to avoid any potential harm. Here are some cautions to keep in mind when using hydrogen peroxide on psoriasis:
- Avoid mixing hydrogen peroxide with vinegar: Mixing hydrogen peroxide with vinegar can create peracetic acid, which is a corrosive substance. So, never mix these two substances together.
- Do not ingest hydrogen peroxide: Ingesting hydrogen peroxide can cause vomiting and abdominal distress. It can be dangerous and should never be consumed.
- Avoid using hydrogen peroxide on open wounds: Hydrogen peroxide can kill healthy cells around the wound, slowing down the healing process, and increasing the risk of infection. It’s best to avoid using hydrogen peroxide on open wounds.
- Do not use hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations: Using hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations can cause skin irritation, burning, blistering, and other adverse reactions. Always follow the recommended guidelines and use hydrogen peroxide in the suggested concentration.
In conclusion, hydrogen peroxide can be a useful treatment for psoriasis when used appropriately. By following these cautions and using hydrogen peroxide as directed, you can safely and effectively manage your psoriasis symptoms.