alcohol + cotton ball

Discussion in 'Health & Medicine' started by SodaPopinski, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. SodaPopinski

    SodaPopinski Guest

    I have used this method alot but I take a cotton ball, get it soaked partially in alcohol, rip off the soaked part and make a small ball out of it, and then bandaid that over the area. This way it kills infection and dries out the spot simultaneously. can this cause any negative problems?
  2. ldmaster

    ldmaster Well-Known Member

    Yes it can, because alcohol inhibits bacteria by coagulating the proteins in it. 70 percent alcohol is more effective than 100 percent alcohol because it acts more slowly, and allows greater penetration of the alcohol to levels below the surface of the wound. JUST putting an alcohol soaked piece of cotton on the wound is a bad idea, it coagulates the top of the wound, leaving the underlayer unaffected as the coagulation places a barrier between the alcohol and the potentially infected tissue. When the alcohol evaporates (and it will do so through nearly any bandaid) you've effectively left a little dead tissue in the wound, which will (in time)serve as food for the bacteria that may be eating it's way out of the wound.

    The best way to care for a typical open wound is to debride the wound, that means removing any dead or severaly damaged flesh, and scrubbing with your antiseptic, THEN wiping the scrubbed area with a clean piece of cotton to wipe the alcohol treated wound material out of the wound. Other antiseptics work somewhat better on surface wounds. I'd imagine your method seems to work so well because you have a healthy immune system and it fights from the inside, AND you probably bandage your wounds quickly before much bacteria can embed itself - it is key to bandage any small wound quickly to minimize later infection. When you're in a survival situation your body will not have as much energy to devote to it's immune system, and it becomes even more critical to address EVERY would you have as quickly as you can - even if it's only putting something dry over it to keep out exterior sources of infection.

  3. sunnyD_3

    sunnyD_3 Guest

    Yeah it is not a good idea at all to leave cotton on the wound as it is trying to heal. Just pour some hydrogen peroxide over the wound and apply some triple anti-biotic ointment with a q-tip. Then cover the wound with a bandaid and you should be fine. Change the bandaid everyday and give the wound time to breath in between.
  4. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    I've always been told not to use Alcohol or Peroxide on an open wound.
    I've been told it inhibits the healing of the wound, and can actually burn & dry out the exposed tissue and new tissue.

    I know for a fact that it will cause a lot more scaring.

    I carry Iodine Solution in my First Aid kit and that seems to work REALLY well for flushing and cleaning the wound.

    'Triple Anti-Biotic' ointment with Neomycin (like 'NEOSPORINĀ®') will help dull the pain of an open wound, but you WILL have an allergic reaction to the Neomycin in the ointment after a few days of use.

    It's best to switch to something without Neomycin after a day or two, Like Bacitracin won't cause the allergic reaction.

    Bacitracin can also be used in and around the eyes, and products containing Neomycin should NOT be used in the eyes!

    Keep the wound soft with ointments, and once it's scabbed over, you can even use petroleum jelly or vitamin E oil to keep the skin/scab softened up.
    This will keep the scab from pulling on the new tissue, and it will allow the new tissue to push the scab up from underneath, something it can't do if the scab is rock hard.

    Bacitracin, petroleum jelly or vitamin E oil will all keep the scaring to a minimum.

    The best thing you can do for small cuts and scrapes is wash them with mild soap and water,
    Then dab a little 'NEOSPORIN' on a band-aid and apply,
    When the scrap or cut scabs over, leave the band-aid off, but keep using something like Bacitracin to keep the scab soft until it falls off on it's own.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  5. Therese

    Therese Member

    I grew up in a household where hydrogen peroxide was used liberally. I was amazed when i learned in school how detrimental it was to good tissue. The best way to clean a wound is plain old normal saline. You can make normal saline by placing 1 tsp of noniodized salt (look for kosher salt in your grocery) to 1 quart of distilled water. It won't be sterile, but then the wound isn't sterile to begin with. If it's a really bad wound and a hospital trip in not an option, here is what we do at the hospital. The wound is packed with sterile gauze soaked with sterile normal saline and then squeezed out the excess so it's still damp but not dripping. The wound is covered over with dressing. When the packing dressing is dry, it is removed and necrotic tissue from the wound is removed when you remove the dry gauze. The steps are repeated until the wound is clean. One-this is painful and two-how many of us have access to sterile saline at home? but it does work. The most important thing is to clean out the wound and you can do this with homemade saline and Q-Tips, gauze, tweezers, etc. If it's a dirty wound, like an animal bite or a tree limb impalement (I have seen EVERYTHING) then the wound is left open and we slather bacitracin ointment all over it and in it and then dress it with gauze and tape. The patient is usually on oral or iv antibiotics also. You don't want to ever close a dirty wound. You can use one or two stitches to hold the sides closer together or a butterfly clip or two will do the same thing.
  6. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    Sterile saline wash bottle and Curafil Hydrogel Wound Gauze

    In my medic bag I keep a pint squeeze bottle of sterile normal saline for wound irrigation and a pack of Kendall Curafil Hydro Gel Gauze in 4x4 flats to cover oozing open wounds. This is a clear wound gel dressing for management of Stage I-IV pressure ulcers, stasis ulcers, first-second degree burns, cuts, abrasions and minor irritations of the skin.

    Shop online Curafil Hydro Gel Gauze by Kendall - 4 Inches X 4 Inches, 25 each at
  7. lisat

    lisat Well-Known Member

    My husband believes isopropyl alcohol cures everything. Last year he had skin cancer removed from his temple and had about 4 stitches. In his wound care instruction he was told to clean daily with a non drying soap and change the bandage, when it dried to start putting vitamin E oil on to aid the healing of the scar. He started from the beginning putting alcohol on it every day, nothing else. It got infected! He went back to doctor and was told never to put alcohol on deep injuries. He now has a nice Frankenstien type scar. I think witch hazel may be safer to use. It is a great antioxidant and astringent known to aid in healing cuts, bruises, acne, insect bites, poison ivy, eczema, dry or cracked skin, varicose veins, and cold sores. Safer and does more than alcohol. I think I would add this to my emergency kit.