Oxidative stress has a significant impact on the development and progression of common human pathologies, including cancer, diabetes, hypertension and neurodegenerative diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that oxidative stress globally influences chromatin structure, DNA methylation, enzymatic and non-enzymatic post-translational modifications of histones and DNA-binding proteins. The effects of oxidative stress on these chromatin alterations mediate a number of cellular changes, including modulation of gene expression, cell death, cell survival and mutagenesis, which are disease-driving mechanisms in human pathologies. Targeting oxidative stress-dependent pathways is thus a promising strategy for the prevention and treatment of these diseases. We summarize recent research developments connecting oxidative stress and chromatin regulation.