antiseptics, actions of

antiseptics, actions of

(Table 1)
Table 1: Actions of antiseptics
AntisepticAction
Hydrex (chlorhexidine gluconate 0.5% in 70% isopropyl alcohol or IMS)
Hibiscrub (chlorhexidine gluconate 4%)
Cationic surface-active agent
Causes cell membranes of MOs to leak
Active against most Gram-positive MOs, some Gram-negative MOs
Inactive against spore forms
Activity reduced in presence of pus and blood
Uses include: skin preparation; hand wash
BetadineIodophor
Povidone-iodine 10% (releasing 1% free iodine) in 70% isopropyl alcohol, or IMS, or water
Betadine dry powder spray
Povidone-iodine 1.4% in aerosol unit
Oxidizes cellular contents of MOs
Active against the vast majority of MOs
Activity retained in presence of blood and pus
Uses include: skin preparation; antiseptic paint; wound dressing
Avoid regular use in patients with thyroid disorders and those on lithium therapy
Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide solution 6% (20 vol) or 3% (10 vol)
Hyoxyl cream 1.5%
Reduces to water and liberates free oxygen
Reducing agent
Deodorant
Bleaching agent
Uses include: softening debris in nail sulcus; cleansing of wound cavities; desloughing wounds
CetrimideCationic surfactant
Tisept chlorhexidine 0.015% and cetrimide 0.15%, in sachetsSimilar spectrum of action to chlorhexidine
Tissue toxic (may be irritant to skin)
Uses include: skin preparation (not open wounds)
BenzoinConstituent of compound tincture of benzoin (TBCo)
Minimal antiseptic effect (slight effect on Gram-negative MOs)
Antiseptic action inactivated by blood or pus

MOs, microorganisms.