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When a skin injury occurs, the body is exposed to different risks related to microorganisms, since the skin no longer acts as a protective barrier by breaking its continuity. Therefore, germs can enter the body through the wound and colonize the area.
Thus, when the number of microorganisms is less than 100,000 colonies per gram of tissue and there are no risks of local infection, the wound is said to be contaminated. But when the microorganisms, which reproduce in the wound, invade the living tissues that surround the injury and produce alterations in them, the wound is infected and this represents, in most cases, the impossibility of the wound to heal.
Antiseptics are chemicals that are applied to living tissues in order to eliminate pathogenic microorganisms or liable to cause disease, or for the purpose of eliminating viruses. Antiseptics have no selective activity and kill all kinds of germs.
It is important that when a child injures himself, he quickly use antiseptics to prevent it from getting infected.
The chlorhexidine, which is transparent, 70% alcohol, iodine and hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide) are the main antiseptics that are used for the disinfection of wounds and burns on the skin.
With the efficient use of antiseptics and disinfectants we can prevent wound infections. But how are they different? While disinfectant kills microorganisms on inanimate or inert surfaces, antiseptics destroy living tissues such as skin.
They are applied mainly on the skin to treat wounds, burns and stings, although they are also used on mucous membranes (mouth, throat, nasal passages). Antiseptics can be of natural origin, such as saliva, which eliminates microorganisms lodged in the oral cavity and that are responsible for dental caries, or they can be obtained in the laboratory, where they are prepared in ideal concentrations to fight diseases without affecting the patient.
An antiseptic is considered to be effective when after application, after 5 minutes, it is observed a decrease in the number of microorganisms (less than 100,000 colonies) in at least four reference bacterial strains.
However, we must bear in mind that antiseptic solutions can be contaminated by some microorganisms that they are transmitted through the air, through the hands or the instruments and material of cures, and that the activity of antiseptics can be inhibited in the presence of certain organic matters such as blood or tissue remains.
A requirement that antiseptics must meet is that do not represent danger to human beings, so they must be free of toxicity or corrosive effects. Likewise, they do not present problems to dissolve with other compounds nor are they altered or decomposed, even when exposed to the action of light or heat.
In addition to reducing the number of microorganisms found on the skin and mucous membranes, without causing irritation or damage, antiseptics are also used to prepare the skin before a clinical procedure, surgically wash or wash hands in high situations. risk with newborns or immunosuppressed patients.
Antiseptics are not used on inert matter, such as instruments and surfaces. Antiseptic solutions should never be used to disinfect inert matter such as tweezers, scissors, scalpels, and suture needles, because disinfectants are more effective in this case.
You can read more articles similar to Antiseptics and children: what are they and how do they act on wounds?, in the First Aid category on site.