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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.
 
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