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Antiseptic facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
A wound being treated with an iodine solution, which has antiseptic properties

An antiseptic is a substance that is applied to lesions or wounds of the skin to kill germs. This helps prevent the wound becoming infected.

Commonly used antiseptics include alcohol, iodine and mercury compounds. Antiseptics are different from antibiotics. Antiseptics can only be used on the skin, antibiotics can also be used internally, through the blood and lymphatic systems. They are also different from disinfectants: Disinfectants are used on non-living objects only, because they are dangerous to the living.

The widespread introduction of antiseptic surgical methods followed the publishing of the paper Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery in 1867 by Joseph Lister, inspired by Louis Pasteur's germ theory of putrefaction. In this paper, Lister advocated the use of carbolic acid (phenol) as a method of ensuring that any germs present were killed.

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Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Antiséptico para niños

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