The hydrogen peroxide compound consists of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms. The chemical formula is H2O2. Bottles of the compound are commonly sold in drug stores and supermarkets.
Hydrogen peroxide is often used as a first aid antiseptic for the treatment of minor cuts and abrasions. Upon contact with living cells, the compound kills bacteria by attacking and destroying bacterial cell walls. The oxygen atoms in hydrogen peroxide attract electrons from bacteria and thus weaken the bacteria, preventing infection. However, because the compound also attacks healthy skin cells, using hydrogen peroxide to treat deep wounds is not advisable. Hydrogen peroxide also functions as an effective mouth wash.