What is a Good Alternative to Using Hydrogen Peroxide on an Open Wound Like Mohs Surgery?

I was told by the surgeon to clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide, but when I went to the plastic surgeon, he said not to. He said to let the water from shampooing my hair to run over it. That doesn't work for me. I need an alternative.

Doctor Answers 4

Wound care with Mohs surgery

Every surgeon has different wound care instructions. I personally do not recommend hydrogen peroxide but know of many good Mohs surgeons, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons that do. If you have some concerns, contact your Mohs surgeon or Plastic surgeon and let them know.

Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

What is a Good Alternative to Using Hydrogen Peroxide on an Open Wound Like Mohs Surgery?

You should consider your plastic surgeon's advice as they know the details about what has been done for you. However, I typically recommend dilute peroxide to remove crusting. If the wound stays clean and moist, you typically shouldn't need hydrogen peroxide. It is OK to shower and cleanse your face with gentle cleanser, typically. You can also keep incisions moist with either bacitracin ointment, vaseline or aquaphor. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Hydrogen Peroxide on Mohs site

Full strength hydrogen peroxide will sting, but that's why I recommend patients clean sites with 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 water. You need to keep the site clean and free from crusts or scabs. I would use the hydrogen peroxide. I've performed thousands of Mohs procedures over 30 years, not to mention thousands of other skin surgeries of all kinds. I always recommend 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 water to clean the areas. No issues.

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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Good Alternative to Using Hydrogen Peroxide on an Open Wound Like Mohs Surgery?

Thank you for your question. Soap and water is actually perfectly fine to run over the healing wound for cleaning, and is often recommended. Hydrogen peroxide should be reserved for wounds with fibrin within them (lacy white-colored tissue within early healing wounds), and should be used only 1-2 times weekly or so to remove some of this tissue, and to freshen the wound bed. Vaseline or Aquaphor or another emollient product should then be used on the wound environment, to aid in faster healing, rather than leaving the wound open to the air. I hope this helps.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.