Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissues and that tend to reduce the possibility of infection or microbial colonizing. Antiseptics are generally distinguished from antibiotics by the latter's ability to be transported through the lymphatic system to destroy bacteria within the body, and from disinfectants, which destroy microorganisms found on nonliving objects. Some antiseptics are true germicides, capable of destroying microbes (bactericidal), whereas others are bacteriostatic and only prevent or inhibit their growth. Antibacterials are antiseptics that have the proven ability to act against bacteria. Microbicides that kill virus particles are called viricides or antivirals.

Antiseptics are particularly important during medical procedures and are of utmost importance in medical hand washing. Appropriate hand washing can minimize microorganisms acquired on the hands by contact ...

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