antiseptic


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Related to antiseptic: antiseptic drugs

antiseptic,

agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms on the external surfaces of the body. Antiseptics should generally be distinguished from drugs such as antibiotics that destroy microorganisms internally, and from disinfectants, which destroy microorganisms found on nonliving objects. Germicides include only those antiseptics that kill microorganisms. Some common antiseptics are alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, and boric acid. There is great variation in the ability of antiseptics to destroy microorganisms and in their effect on living tissue. For example, mercuric chloride is a powerful antiseptic, but it irritates delicate tissue. In contrast, silver nitrate kills fewer germs but can be used on the delicate tissues of the eyes and throat. There is also a great difference in the time required for different antiseptics to work. Iodine, one of the fastest-working antiseptics, kills bacteria within 30 sec. Other antiseptics have slower, more residual action. Since so much variability exists, systems have been devised for measuring the action of an antiseptic against certain standards. The bacteriostatic action of an antiseptic compared to that of phenol (under the same conditions and against the same microorganism) is known as its phenol coefficient. Joseph Lister was the first to employ the antiseptic phenol, or carbolic acid, in surgery, following the discovery by Louis Pasteur that microorganisms are the cause of infections. Modern surgical techniques for avoiding infection are founded on asepsis, the absence of pathogenic organisms. Sterilization is the chief means of achieving asepsis.

antiseptic

[¦an·tə¦sep·tik]
(microbiology)
A substance used to destroy or prevent the growth of infectious microorganisms on or in the human or animal body.

antiseptic

an agent or substance that prevents infection by killing germs
References in periodicals archive ?
Multiple studies have sought to determine if cleansing the vagina with an antiseptic solution further reduces the incidence of postcesarean infection beyond what can be achieved with systemic antibiotic prophylaxis.
According to Sedlack, antiseptic products have been used safely and effectively by healthcare workers for decades.
The broad spectrum antiseptic is available as hand wash, mouth wash and a whole range of products that can stop the spread of the infection through any body fluids.
Q: How has the healthcare industry's perspective on the topic of sterile antiseptic skin preparation changed since the FDA hearing a year ago?
Chlorhexidine, an antiseptic element in the mouthwashes, destroys certain microbes that produce nitrite, thus interfering with the proper dilation of blood vessels and blood flow, researchers, while explaining the occurrence, said.
US researchers tested a newer antiseptic against the iodine solution commonly used to prep surgery patients and found it cut all surgical-site infections by 40 percent.
Also, if you put an antiseptic in a patient with a perforated eardrum, the patient is going to experience significant pain.
Thyme is strongly antiseptic and thus can be used externally for infected wounds, internally for respiratory and digestive infections, and as a gargle to relieve sore throats.
This antiseptic style is reflected in the designs that are routinely projected in the popular press.
A single pad for providing both an anesthetic and an antiseptic for an injection site has been patented.
Using a novel approach to microbe killing, a team of researchers has made a new coating that could render countertops, computer keyboards, and even hospital sheets permanently antiseptic.