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Chapter 4 : Antiseptics and Antisepsis

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Antiseptics and Antisepsis, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Antiseptics are biocidal products used for antisepsis. They include washes (which contain soaps or other detergents and are used with water) and rubs (which are applied directly to the skin with no washing, e.g., tinctures and alcohols). Antiseptic hand washes or hand rubs for health care workers are fast acting, with minimal irritation, and designed for frequent use on the skin, particularly for the reduction of transient microorganisms. It should be remembered that the purpose of antiseptics is to reduce the level of contamination; although antiseptics can vary considerably in antimicrobial activity on the skin, they do not completely remove all transient and resident microorganisms. There are many reports of cross-transmission by pathogens from contaminated hands in these situations, and studies have shown that the use of antiseptics can reduce the risk of transmission; their effects vary from formulation to formulation, despite the presence of similar concentrations of various biocides. Hand washes include a range of biocides, usually in soap- or detergent-based formulations, such as chlorhexidine, triclosan, chloroxylenol, triclocarban, essential oils, benzalkonium chloride, and some iodophors. This chapter also discusses the biocides used as antiseptics and talks about the major types used in antiseptic skin washes and rinses.

Citation: McDonnell G. 2007. Antiseptics and Antisepsis, p 149-163. In Antisepsis, Disinfection, and Sterilization. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816445.ch4
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Figures

Image of FIGURE 4.1
FIGURE 4.1

Cross section of skin structure. Illustration by Patrick Lane, ScEYEnce Studios.

Citation: McDonnell G. 2007. Antiseptics and Antisepsis, p 149-163. In Antisepsis, Disinfection, and Sterilization. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816445.ch4
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Image of FIGURE 4.2
FIGURE 4.2

Examples of various types of antiseptic products.

Citation: McDonnell G. 2007. Antiseptics and Antisepsis, p 149-163. In Antisepsis, Disinfection, and Sterilization. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816445.ch4
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Image of FIGURE 4.3
FIGURE 4.3

Examples of biocide-impregnated materials for skin application.

Citation: McDonnell G. 2007. Antiseptics and Antisepsis, p 149-163. In Antisepsis, Disinfection, and Sterilization. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816445.ch4
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Image of FIGURE 4.4
FIGURE 4.4

A representation of the penetration of chlorhexidine into the skin epidermis. The concentration of residual activity varies, depending on the formulation and application of the antiseptic. In this case, residual activity was present following washing with a 4% chlorhexidine formulation. The concentration can be determined by removing various layers of the epidermis by tape stripping (using adhesive tape to remove various layers) or by histologically removing layers by sectioning, followed by chlorhexidine extraction and determination.

Citation: McDonnell G. 2007. Antiseptics and Antisepsis, p 149-163. In Antisepsis, Disinfection, and Sterilization. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816445.ch4
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References

/content/book/10.1128/9781555816445.ch04
1. Ascenzi, J. M. 1996. Handbook of Disinfectants and Antiseptics. Marcel Dekker, New York, N.Y.
2. Block, S. S. 1991. Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation, 4th ed. Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, Pa.
3. Block, S. S. 2001. Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation, 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pa.
4. Boyce, J. M., and, D. Pittet. 2002. Guideline for hand hygiene in health-care settings. Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/ IDSA Hand Hygiene Task Force. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 51:148.
5. Olmsted, R. N. 1996. APIC Infection Control and Applied Epidemiology: Principles and Practice. Mosby, St. Louis, Mo.
6. Russell, A. D.,, W. B. Hugo, and, G. A. J. Ayliffe. 1992. Principles and Practice of Disinfection, Preservation and Sterilization, 2nd ed. Blackwell Science, Cambridge, Mass.
7. Wilson, M. 2005. Microbial Inhabitants of Humans: Their Ecology and Role in Health and Disease. Cambridge University Press, New York, N.Y.
8. World Health Organization. May 4, 2005. WHO Guidelines for Hand Hygiene in Health Care. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. [Online.] http://www.who.int/.

Tables

Generic image for table
TABLE 4.1

Common or notable infections of the skin

Citation: McDonnell G. 2007. Antiseptics and Antisepsis, p 149-163. In Antisepsis, Disinfection, and Sterilization. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816445.ch4
Generic image for table
TABLE 4.2

Examples of various guidelines and standards on the use and application of antiseptics

Citation: McDonnell G. 2007. Antiseptics and Antisepsis, p 149-163. In Antisepsis, Disinfection, and Sterilization. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816445.ch4
Generic image for table
TABLE 4.3

Examples of biocides most widely used as skin antiseptics and washes

Citation: McDonnell G. 2007. Antiseptics and Antisepsis, p 149-163. In Antisepsis, Disinfection, and Sterilization. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816445.ch4
Generic image for table
TABLE 4.4

Miscellaneous biocides used as antiseptics and their applications

Citation: McDonnell G. 2007. Antiseptics and Antisepsis, p 149-163. In Antisepsis, Disinfection, and Sterilization. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816445.ch4

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