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hydrogen peroxide (Topical application route)

HYE-droe-jen per-OX-ide

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Aplicare One Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Eskata
  • Proxacol

In Canada

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Spray
  • Pad
  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Disinfectant

Uses For hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is used to treat raised seborrheic keratoses (waxy and scaly, raised areas of skin).

hydrogen peroxide is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.

Before Using hydrogen peroxide

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For hydrogen peroxide, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hydrogen peroxide or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Eskata™ is not indicated for use in children.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of Eskata™ in the elderly.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Proper Use of hydrogen peroxide

You will receive hydrogen peroxide in a clinic or doctor's office. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you the medicine using an applicator.

hydrogen peroxide comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

hydrogen peroxide is applied directly on your lesions. Do not get any of the medicine in your eyes, nose, mouth, or ears. Rinse it off right away if it does get on these areas.

Your doctor may want to retreat you with Eskata™ after at least 3 weeks if your skin condition did not completely resolve.

Precautions While Using hydrogen peroxide

Your doctor will check your progress closely while you are receiving hydrogen peroxide. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

If your condition does not improve within 3 weeks, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.

Using Eskata™ may cause serious eye problems, including blindness. If it accidentally gets into your eyes while you are receiving it, your doctor will tell you to rinse them well with water for 15 to 30 minutes.

The treated area may redden and swelling and scaling may also occur. Your doctor may wait until your skin recovers before continuing with your treatment.

hydrogen peroxide Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • skin burning, itching, pain, rash, stinging, or swelling skin ulcers
Less common
  • Cracking or scarring of the skin
  • thinning, weakness, or wasting away of the skin
  • Eyelid swelling
  • painful blisters on the trunk of the body

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Darkening of the skin
  • dryness, peeling, or crusting of the skin
  • lightening of normal skin color
  • lightening of the treated areas of dark skin

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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