You just cut yourself, and now a wound becomes an ideal gateway for germs. Germs find favorable conditions to penetrate the wound, which can lead to the abscess (pain, local redness, swelling, pus), or even an infection with fever. Disinfecting the skin after a cut is essential.
How to choose your antiseptic?
On an open wound or sting, apply an alcohol-free antiseptic to avoid causing pain or irritating the damaged skin. Chlorhexidine in aqueous solution or a chlorinated derivative (such as Dakin) are used, two antiseptics with a broad spectrum, active on most germs (bacteria, fungi, viruses) and powerful.
Oxygenated water at 10 volumes limits the bleeding of superficial wounds. Avoid iodine derivatives (Betadine), used in hospitals because it colors the skin and masks the evolution of the wound.
On a closed wound (splinter, ingrown toenail, paronychia), choose a formula that easily penetrates the superficial layer of the skin. This is the case of cetrimide or hexamidine associated with a high concentration of alcohol. Forget about weakly antiseptic products that color the skin, such as mercury in or eosin.
On a pimple (varicella, diaper rash), I would prefer antiseptic, a colorless solution (Cytelium, Cicalfate …).
On a wound soiled with soil, gravel or sand, use a foaming antiseptic solution or 10-volume hydrogen peroxide, before applying a stronger antiseptic.
On healthy skin, before an injection and small equipment (scissors or tweezers), nothing beats diluted alcohol (at 60 or 70 °), more effective than alcohol at 90 °. By penetrating the well of the bacteria, it destroys them more easily.
How to use antiseptic?
For optimal action, rules must be respected:
- Wash the wound with soap and water before applying, to remove dirt or debris (blood, pus …);
- Rinse the wound to remove any soap that may interfere with the antiseptic and dry it with a tissue;
Never combine different antiseptics with each other. Some can react to other chemicals and toxic skin products could form;
- Keep your antiseptics;
- Discard single doses after use as they become contaminated soon after opening.
- Prefer small sizes or sprays forms, the risk of contamination is lower;
- Close the bottle well after use and keep it away from light and strong heat.