An antiseptic is a kind of substance which completely stops or litterly slow down the microorganism’s strength. They’re frequently used in hospitals and other medical settings to reduce the risk of infection during surgery and other procedures.If you’ve ever witnessed any type of surgery, you probably can see the surgeons shaling and rubbing hands and both their arms with an orange-tinted substance. This is an antiseptic.
Different types of antiseptics are used in medical settings. These include hand rubs, hand washes, and skin preparations. Some are also available over the counter (OTC) for home use.
Antiseptics have various types of uses both in and out of medical settings. In both settings, they are applied to either the skin or mucous membranes.
Specific antiseptic uses include:
Hand washing: Medical professionals use and prescribe antiseptics for hand scrubs and rubs in hospitals.
Disinfecting mucous membranes: Antiseptics can be applied for cleaning the urethra, bladder, or vagina before inserting a catheter. They can also help to treat an infection in these areas.
Cleaning skin before an operation: Antiseptics are applied before any kind of surgery to protect against any harmful microorganisms that might be on the skin.
Treating skin infections: You can just have OTC antiseptics to minimize the risk involved within infection in minor dtitches or cuts, burns, and wounds. Examples include hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol.
To treat throat and mouth infections: Throat lozenges contain antiseptics to help with sore throats due to a bacterial infection.
Types of antiseptic
Antiseptics are usually categorized by their chemical structure. All types disinfect skin, but some have additional uses.
Common types with varied uses include:
Chlorhexidine and other biguanides: These are used on open wounds and for bladder irrigation.
Antibacterial dye: They are helpful to treat wounds and burns.
Peroxide and permanganate: These are often used in antiseptic mouthwashes and on open wounds.
Halogenated phenol derivative: This is used in medical-grade soaps and cleaning solutions.
Some strong antiseptics can cause chemical burns or severe irritation if applied to skin without being diluted with water. Even diluted antiseptics can cause irritation if they’re left on skin for long periods of time. This kind of irritation is called irritant contact dermatitis.
If you’re using an antiseptic at home, don’t use it for more than a week at a time.
One should avoid using over the counter antiseptics for more serious wounds, such as:
- eye injuries
- human or animal bites
- deep or large wounds
- severe burns
- wounds that contain foreign objects