Difference between antiseptic and disinfectant
Antiseptic vs disinfectant:
The terms antiseptics and disinfectant are often heard to be used synonymously as many people are led in to thinking that they are indeed one and the same. Both disinfectants and antiseptics are used to kill bacteria and other harmful viruses and yet, it is very wrong to assume that they are one and the same as they differ greatly in certain aspects.
What is an antiseptic?
Antiseptics can be defined as agents that are used on living tissue or more plainly put, on skin which designed to kill or control the growth of microbes.They are used widely in medical environments such as hospitals as the medical professionals are often seen using antiseptics prior and after surgery as a means of cleansing themselves of germs. Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances which reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction. They exist in the form of ointments and sometimes even as sprays. Some examples for antiseptics can be stated as alcohol, chlorhexidine, anilides and iodine. They are also used in mouthwashes, eye washes, cold sores, and yeast infection treatment creams as well as medication which are designed to treat symptoms of gingivitis and minor skin ailments.
What is a disinfectant?
Disinfectants can be defined as agents that are used on non-living things such as floors, counter tops, dishes, etc with the aim of killing or controlling the growth of microbes. Disinfectants are more commonly used on household items so as not to spread germs among the people living in that household and also in hospitals where cleaning medical equipment, surgery tools is necessary. Disinfectants are often very powerful and toxic, possessing the power to kill most microbes and living organisms and they often come in the form of liquid or in spray. They are not to be used in conjunction of acids and ammonia as they have a tendency to react with these substances and create toxins as a result. Some examples for disinfectants can be listed as Glutaraldehyde, vantocil, phthalaldehyde and formaldehyde .
What is the difference between disinfectants and antiseptics?
Disinfectants and antiseptics are both used for the common purpose of killing or controlling the growth of microbes which can prove to be harmful. And yet, they do have their differences. While antiseptics are designed to be used on living tissue, skin, as more plainly put, disinfectants are more commonly used on non-living tissue such as counter tops, floors, bathrooms, cleaning equipment, etc. this is done so as a means of preventing the spread of harmful bacteria of the household to the people living in it. Moreover, while antiseptics cause no harm on living or non-living tissue, disinfectants are known to have adverse effects when used on skin such as skin hardening, lesions, skin erosion and inflammation.
Antiseptics often exist in the form of ointments and sometimes even as sprays whereas disinfectants are often seen in the form of liquid or sprays. However, both are used in environments where germs and bacterias tend to grow in large numbers such as hospitals which therefore needs to be kept clean. Yet, antiseptics are often considered as mild whereas disinfectants are considered as much stronger, harsher, toxic and are known to have the ability to destroy a large number of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms than antiseptics.