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Antiseptics Medicine

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Antiseptics in the form of lotions, creams, ointment are medicines that slow or stop the growth of germs and help prevent infections in cuts, scrapes, and burns. Antiseptics kill or stop the growth of microorganisms on the outer part of the body. They are different from drugs like antibiotics that destroy microorganisms internally. They are different from disinfectants, which destroy microorganisms found on nonliving objects. They are applied externally to treat skin infections, to prevent bacterial growth, and to disinfect wounds.

Antiseptics Purpose

Antiseptics are applied to the skin to keep bacteria from getting into wounds and thereby leading to infection. Although Antiseptics do not usually kill bacteria, they do weaken them and slow their growth.

Simply applying an Antiseptic to a wound is not adequate treatment. The wound should be cleaned first and in most cases it should be covered with a bandage or other type of dressing to keep it clean and moist while it heals. However, some Antiseptics, such as Phenol, can damage the skin if the wound is covered after they are applied. Others, such as Hydrogen Peroxide and Iodine should be allowed to dry completely before the wound is covered.

Because Antiseptics can irritate the skin and even interfere with the healing process, they should be used sparingly. Some medical experts advise people to use antibiotic ointments instead of Antiseptics because they can actually kill the bacteria that may cause a wound to become infected.

Some common antiseptics
  • Alcohol
  • Iodine
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • and boric acid
  • Phenol
  • Iodine
  • Sodium Cholride
  • Hexachlorophene

Most of the antiseptic products on the market contain one or more of these ingredients. These products can be bought without a doctor's prescription.

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Common Antiseptics and Their Usages

Prescription Drugs   Non-Prescription Drugs