Bullshit is so prevalent when it comes to health and diet advice that there's a good chance even your doctor gets a lot of it wrong. There are so many myths and old wives' tales out there, and for every one that happens to be true, there are dozens that amount to little more than superstition. It's a thankless task, knocking down these myths, but one we believe is for the ultimate good of humanity. So get ready to scream "bullshit!" the next time you hear ...
5 "Better Pour Hydrogen Peroxide on That Cut Before It Gets Infected!"
We're going to bet that in your medicine cabinet, or somewhere in your house, you have a little brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Riddled with antiseptic properties and a near-magical disinfecting ability, hydrogen peroxide is the shit when it comes to showing bacteria its place. Hell, hospitals use it. The stuff even has special effects -- you can tell that it works by observing the bubbly foam it produces as a side effect of kicking germ ass.
And did we mention that you can use it as freaking rocket fuel?
But Actually ...
The roots of the myth of mighty hydrogen peroxide run so deep that scientists actually haven't bothered to research its wound-cleaning capacities until fairly recently. When they finally got around to it, peroxide's high horse instantly bolted and ran the hell away, neighing angry obscenities at its fallen rider as it went. For starters, that "healing" foam is completely useless -- it's just a natural chemical reaction with the catalase enzyme in your blood, creating an effect not unlike a tiny baking soda volcano spouting from your wound. Neat, yes, but not the thing you're looking for if you're actually planning to get better.
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And there are easier ways to place first in the science fair.
OK, so we're prepared to accept that the foam is just smoke and mirrors. After all, hydrogen peroxide still kills all the bacteria at the site of a wound.
Except, well, it actually doesn't manage even that. It turns out that while hydrogen peroxide has no negative effects on the healing of wounds (other than a false sense of security, we suppose), it is pathetically ineffective at reducing bacterial count or inhibiting bacterial growth in a wounded area.
It's basically like using a Snickers wrapper as a condom.
So what should you put on a wound? Antibiotic creams like Neosporin seem to work (though some say Vaseline works about the same). But there's just something so satisfying about the way hydrogen peroxide makes our wounds all fizzy. Can they add something to Band-Aids that does that? It's like the pointless burning sensation caused by Listerine -- we want some kind of sensation to let us know the medicine is working, damn it!