Is hydrogen peroxide safe to use on the anus?
September 3, 2013 4:14 AM   Subscribe

Is regular drugstore 3% hydrogen peroxide safe to use on the anus?
posted by john123357 to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Test the dilution on your elbow for a while first?

Probably depends on whether "3%" is accurate.

Rinse early and repeat as necessary?
posted by panaceanot at 5:06 AM on September 3, 2013

Should be no problem. 3% is a very dilute solution.
posted by rmmcclay at 5:08 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Isint the anus a mucus membrane though? I think it's alot more sensitive than the skin on your elbow.
posted by john123357 at 5:14 AM on September 3, 2013

Any minute amount of peroxide that makes it through the membrane would be instantly converted into Oxygen and water via catalayse as seen here (SLYT)
posted by koolkat at 5:20 AM on September 3, 2013

Let me explain the backstory, I think I have a mild infection around my anus and a little bit on my anus from shaving it with a razor that was not clean enough. Can I put hydrogen peroxide on it??
posted by john123357 at 5:36 AM on September 3, 2013

I put 3% H2O2 in my mouth, which is also a mucous membrane. It's fine.
posted by gaspode at 5:37 AM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yes it might sting, but there would be no issue with toxicity, except it you started putting it on daily in higher concentration for decades. I think people (probably certain movie stars for example) go in for bleachings, and the bleach used is probably peroxide and at a higher concentration in a form more likely to stay on the skin. A cloth with some peroxide on it and washing the area is no big deal.
posted by koolkat at 5:43 AM on September 3, 2013

I thought the stuff for anal bleaching was in a lower concentration.
posted by john123357 at 5:47 AM on September 3, 2013

For the guy who says he puts it in his mouth I looked at the bottle and it says to dilute it before putting it in your mouth. Do you use it full strength?
posted by john123357 at 5:49 AM on September 3, 2013

Most hair bleach treatments are 12% so four times the 3% you have. If you've stored it not in the fridge and for a while it will be even less than 3%.

Not sure about the other kind of bleaching not going to search for that at work.
posted by koolkat at 5:52 AM on September 3, 2013

[john123357, Ask Metafilter is not for extended back-and-forth exchanges. If you don't accept the answers provided then that is a problem for you to solve on your own, I'm afraid. Do not start a discussion here. Thank you.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:04 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

In what form is this 3% hydrogen pyroxide? Is it a bottle of liquid? A small dab of it applied via a cotton ball on the affected region should give you an indication as to whether you can stand it but you'd probably be better off applying an antiseptic cream.
posted by h00py at 6:05 AM on September 3, 2013

Not a guy, but yes, full (well, 3%) strength.
posted by gaspode at 6:06 AM on September 3, 2013

3% hydrogen peroxide is actually a bit strong for wound cleaning -- it has a tendency to kill some healthy tissue too, which can create an environment that is prone to reinfection.

What you really want is a 1%-2% solution of povidone iodine or betadine, also available at the drug store. Mix it, a few drops at a time, into a cup of water until it looks somewhere between coca-cola and tea -- then use that as a wash for your cut. It won't sting, it's effective, and it's much gentler on the healthy tissue.
posted by Scientist at 6:15 AM on September 3, 2013 [8 favorites]

But multiple randomized, controlled trials -- the best kind of research -- show that hydrogen peroxide does not prevent or treat infections in wounds. Not only that, hydrogen peroxide slows healing and may even cause cellular damage. via a CNN article on medical myths
posted by kmennie at 6:36 AM on September 3, 2013 [9 favorites]

The wilderness medicine courses and EMT training that I've taken have always recommended against hydrogen peroxide on the basis that it is harsh, promotes reinfection, and is not very effective. If you've had wounds heal in the past after using it, that may be as much despite the H2O2 as because of it. Most wounds heal on their own, after all. I have a lifetime's experience of having wounds just go away on their own without any intervention whatsoever, but that doesn't mean that that's the most effective treatment.
posted by Scientist at 7:37 AM on September 3, 2013

[Please note that this is a Q/A situation not a "hey let's talk about hydrogen peroxide + anuses" forum. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:00 AM on September 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

Salt water sitz bath is what you want.

Basically make a nice warm bath a few inches deep mix in some salt and sit in it for about 20 mins, making sure to swish the water around so it circulates past the area. It will sting a little. You want basically enough salt to make the water just taste salty or like seawater. If you live near a beach a swim in the ocean will do the same thing. It is what a doctor recommended for an infected anal fissure and most doctors I know recommend salt water soaking for various.

I would avoid bleach because of the reasons others have mentioned. I can't see why you couldn't use it on your anus safety wise, but I don't think it will actually help a lot with wound care. Also look at getting some wet wipes to keep the area as clean as possible until you heal up. Good news down there heals pretty damn fast.
posted by wwax at 8:10 AM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Salt water soak.
If you can use a mirror and see what's going on, if you seem to have a dry tear on the anus, you can try using a tiny tiny amount of vaseline to moisten the area, which will relieve it for a day until it heals. I would only do that if you find it looks like a simple dry tear, but not if it's go pus or is oozing or elsewise truly infected.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:27 AM on September 3, 2013

kmennie for the win!

IANYD and this is not medical advice, but if it's irritated, I'd just use soap and water or a sitz bath as described. If it is truly infected/painful/draining pus/has spreading redness and hardness around it, you should see a doctor rather than bothering with the hydrogen peroxide.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:33 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

For the guy who says he puts it in his mouth I looked at the bottle and it says to dilute it before putting it in your mouth. Do you use it full strength?

I'm not that guy, but I gargle and brush with it multiple times a week, straight out of the bottle, per the advice of my dentist. The only precaution I take is keeping it far away from the rubbing alcohol.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:00 AM on September 4, 2013

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