Antisepsis Methods

What is antisepsis?

Antisepsis is the process of reducing the microbial load on skin to prevent the spread of infection. This could include cleansing of the skin's microbial flora prior to an operation using an iodine solution or the use of an antimicrobial mouthwash to prevent infection following a tooth extraction.

Some examples of antiseptic agents and their uses are summarised in the table below. It is interesting to note that some disinfectant agents can also be used in an antiseptic capacity albeit often at a lower concentration.

Table with four rows and three columns named: “Agent”, “Preparation”, and “Example use”. First agent, chlorhexidine, is a 2% or 4% solution and is used as prophylactic mouthwash against oral infection or as help to control existing one. Second agent, iodophor, is a 10% active iodine and is used as pre-operative treatment for skin prior to surgery. Last agent, alcohol, is a around 70% solution and is used to clean wounds prior to dressing, and to clean the skin prior to injection.