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Can rubbing alcohol be used to disinfect a wound?

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May 26, 2009 2:35AM

See the related question Does rubbing alcohol kill germs? As a Registered Nurse, we use alcohol only for cleansing unbroken skin prior to administering an injection. What commonly is used for wound care is betadine (puchased generically at large retail stores, Walmart, Target, is cheaper). My experience is that alcohol is quite painful to an open wound (but cheaper than betadine). The latter is not painful and my understanding more effective. Betidine is diluted iodine. Note: Finding betadine can sometimes be a pain. Generally for minor scrapes, abrasions, and lacerations hydrogen peroxide will provide the best bang for your buck - as a medium sized bottle can run you as low as 79 cents and easily last you a year. Rubbing alcohol is not recommended for sensitive skin.. or people, but it certainly works - and well. It does have a habit of drying the skin out.