Hydrogen peroxide is a weak acid. It has strong oxidizing properties and is therefore a powerful bleaching agent that is mostly used for bleaching paper, but has also found use as a disinfectant and as an oxidizer. Hydrogen peroxide in the form of carbamide peroxide is widely used for tooth whitening (bleaching), both in professionally- and in self-administered products. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a well-documented component of living cells. It plays important roles in host defense and oxidative biosynthetic reactions. In addition there is growing evidence that at low levels, H2O2 also functions as a signaling agent, particularly in higher organisms. H2O2 has increasingly been viewed as an important cellular signaling agent in its own right, capable of modulating both contractile and growth-promoting pathways with more far-reaching effects. Due to the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in the skin of patients with the depigmentation disorder vitiligo, the human epidermis cannot have the normal capacity for autocrine synthesis, transport and degradation of acetylcholine as well as the muscarinic (m1-m5) and nicotinic signal transduction in keratinocytes and melanocytes. Accumulating evidence suggests that hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) plays an important role in cancer development. Experimental data have shown that cancer cells produce high amounts of H(2)O(2). An increase in the cellular levels of H(2)O(2) has been linked to several key alterations in cancer, including DNA alterations, cell proliferation, apoptosis resistance, metastasis, angiogenesis and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) activation.