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A 36-year-old member asked:

What is the best way to clean a cut on the skin? i've been told hydrogen peroxide slows cell growth & not to use. what else aside from soap and water

3 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine 19 years experience
Avoid peroxide: Peroxide not only kills the bad things (bacteria, etc) but also the fibroblasts - cells that promote healing and the production of new tissue. Gentle washing with a mild soap and water is usually adequate, perhaps followed by apply Bacitracin or neosporin ointment. Allowing wound to dry out usually results in prolonged healing and a higher risk of scars.
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine 19 years experience
Provided original answer
Regarding the concern about bacitracin and neosporin...a very small percentage of people will develop an allergic reaction to the cream part of neosporin. It's not actually an allergy to the medicine, but to the "vehicle" - the components that make it a cream or ointment. There are liquid wound washes like Bactine - they are portable, don't burn, and fit great in a diaper bag!
Dec 25, 2011
Dr. Ally-Khan Somani
Dermatology 19 years experience
 Neomycin and bacitracin are among the top ten allergens causing allergic contact dermatitis (not their vehicles). Health care providers and patients should avoid topical antimicrobial products unless there is a reasonable suspicion or an actual infection to treat. White petrolatum has proven effective on postoperative wounds and it eliminates the risk of ACD and anaphylaxis. http://www.medscape.c
Dec 25, 2011
Dr. Ally-Khan Somani
Dermatology 19 years experience
medscape.com/viewarticle/735534_11
Dec 25, 2011
Dr. Ally-Khan Somani
Dermatology 19 years experience
Agree but: I would agree with what has been posted. However, i would advise against using Bacitracin or neosporin as these can lead to allergic contact dermatitis. Best thing to apply over the clean wound is either plain petroleum jelly (vaseline) or aquaphor ointment.
Dr. Ally-Khan Somani
Dermatology 19 years experience
A gentle cleanser: 2 cups clean water + 1 teaspoon white cooking vinegar. Can be kept in the fridge great for minor scrapes, cuts, even open wounds. Use a clean gauze or cloth soaked in solution and gently clean the wound, continue to soak area with gauze/cloth for 5-10 min. Pat dry & then apply thin layer of vaseline. Do it as often as needed (especially the vaseline). This is also great care for sutured wounds.
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine 19 years experience
I like the recipe. Vinegar has great antibiotic properties. In fact some antibiotic ear drops contain nothing but plain white vinegar....a lot of money for a few drops of wite vinegar! I also like the wound care recommendation - it sure helps to get the sutures out when the wound stays moisturized.
Dec 25, 2011

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Last updated Jan 21, 2019

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