- hydrogen peroxide
- chemical colitis
Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant commonly used for cleansing superficial wounds due to its oxidizing capacity. In the past, it has also been used for the management of meconium ileus in children as the oxidizing action of hydrogen peroxide potentiates peristalsis that relieves ileus or fecal impaction. The potential dangers were unknown till Pumphrey, in 1951, described the harmful effects of its use as an enema. We present a case of a 32-year-old female who was admitted for complaints of perianal pain. She used an enema, consisting of water and hydrogen peroxide, for constipation. It improved her symptoms but subsequently, she developed a burning sensation in her rectum. The patient had a colonoscopy which revealed severe proctitis up to 15 cm from the anal verge manifested by superficial mucosal ulceration, marked erythema, and edema with friable mucosa and hemorrhage. The patient was subsequently given mesalamine, and the symptoms resolved.