13.11. Skin cleansers, antiseptics, and preparations for promotion of wound healing
13.11.1. Alcohols and saline
Used for skin preparation prior to injection.
Sterile sodium chloride 0.9% is often used as an irrigation fluid for wounds and ulcers.
13.11.2. Chlorhexidine salts
Brands include: Hibiscrub®, Hydrex® and Unisept®. See individual preparation literature for appropriate uses and directions.
Used for general skin disinfection and wound cleansing.
13.11.3. Cationic surfactants and soapsFor skin cleansing preparations that contain cetrimide, see section 13.11.2
The following preparations are available for prescribing on the NHS in primary care:
- Betadine® Dry Powder Spray
See individual preparation literature for appropriate uses and directions.
13.11.6. Oxidisers and dyes
The 6% solution should be used for skin disinfection, particularly cleaning and deodorising of wounds and ulcers. For other topical antiinfective preparations containing hydrogen peroxide, see section 188.8.131.52.
- Available as 0.1% topical solution, which should be diluted 1 in 10, and as Permitabs®, where 1 tablet dissolved in 4 litres of water provides a 0.01% topical solution. See BNF and product literature for further information.
- In primary care, prescribers should be experienced in the treatment of dermatological conditions and the use of potassium permanganate. Prescriptions should be issued for named patients.
- For further information on all safety aspects including storage, prescribing and administration in all care sectors, please refer to this guideline from the British Association of Dermatologists (April 2022).