Can I use chlorhexidine as an antiseptic?

14.07.2020 Medicine
Can I use chlorhexidine as an antiseptic?

Chlorhexidine. What happens?

  • 0.05% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine bigluconate
  • 0.2% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine bigluconate
  • 0.5% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine bigluconate
  • 1% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine bigluconate
  • 0.5% alcohol solution of chlorhexidine.

Each type of chlorhexidine has its own scope.

0.05% and 0.2% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine bigluconate is great for washing wounds and burns. It is also often used in the treatment of ENT diseases (for rinsing and irrigation of the throat, ear treatment), in dentistry (when removing a tooth, in the treatment of stomatitis, and in excision of a cyst). It is this type of chlorhexidine that is popular in gynecology and urology (including as the prevention of sexually transmitted infections). It acts against such pathogens of infectious diseases as: herpes virus, gardnerella, pale treponema, trichomonas, gonococcus, chlamydia. But viruses (well, except for the herpes virus) have no effect on this type of chlorhexidine.

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0.5% water-based chlorhexidine is suitable not only for the treatment of skin and mucous membranes, but also for medical equipment (tonometers, thermometers, and others). And if this solution is heated to 70 degrees, then it is suitable for sterilization of a medical instrument. But in the fight against coronovirus, it is still weak and useless.

1% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine can no longer be found on the market. It is already used for disinfection of equipment, furniture, as well as in surgical practice (disinfection of the surgeon's hands, processing of the surgical intervention area). There are studies by Italian scientists that 1% chlorhexidine destroys the capsid of the virus and it can no longer multiply. But there is one thing: it is necessary to maintain the antiseptic on the surface for at least 5-10 minutes. So for the treatment of the skin, this type of chlorhexidine can also not be advised. But wiping the surfaces in shops, pharmacies and hospitals is great

And now let's move on to the fun part - the 0.5% alcohol solution of chlorhexidine . It is more difficult to find it in pharmacies, but it is still quite common. It is he who handles the hands of medical workers, treats the skin of the operating and injection fields, disinfects dental instruments, medical devices, and instrument surfaces. It helps fight viruses, bacteria and fungi. They can be recommended to wipe their hands and use them to disinfect surfaces.

However, despite all the merits, the first place in the fight against viruses (including COVID-19) is still ethanol and the choice should be made in favor of antiseptics with at least 70% ethyl alcohol.

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