In pharmacies, hydrogen peroxide and chlorhexidine are swept off the shelves. What for? According to buyers, this is a "penny" antiseptic that can replace more expensive antiseptics. But are there any sense from them in the fight against coronavirus (including COVID-19)?
Chlorhexidine. What is it like?
- 0.05% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine bigluconate
- 0.2% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine digluconate
- 0.5% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine digluconate
- 1% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine bigluconate
- 0.5% alcoholic solution of chlorhexidine.
Each type of chlorhexidine has its own scope.
0.05% and 0.2% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine bigluconate is excellent for washing wounds and burns. It is also often used in the treatment of ENT diseases (for rinsing and irrigating the throat, treating the ears), in dentistry (when removing a tooth, in treating stomatitis, when excising a cyst). It is this type of chlorhexidine that is popular in gynecology and urology (including as the prevention of sexually transmitted infections). It acts against pathogens of infectious diseases such as herpes virus, gardnerella, treponema pale, Trichomonas, gonococcus, chlamydia. But this type of chlorhexidine has no effect on viruses (well, except for the herpes virus).
0.5% water-based chlorhexidine is suitable not only for the treatment of skin and mucous membranes, but also for medical equipment (tonometers, thermometers and others). And if this solution is heated to 70 degrees, then it is also suitable for sterilizing medical instruments. But in the fight against coronavirus, he is still weak and useless.
A 1% aqueous solution of chlorhexidine is no longer available on the market. It is already used for disinfection of equipment, pieces of furniture, as well as in surgical practice (disinfection of the surgeon's hands, treatment of the surgical intervention zone). There are studies by Italian scientists that 1% chlorhexidine destroys the capsid of the virus and it can no longer multiply. But there is one thing: it is necessary to withstand the antiseptic on the surface for at least 5-10 minutes. So this kind of chlorhexidine cannot be advised for leather treatment either. But wiping surfaces in stores, pharmacies and hospitals is great!
And now let's move on to the most interesting thing - to 0.5% alcohol solution of chlorhexidine. It is more difficult to find it in pharmacies, but it is still quite common. It is he who treats the hands of medical workers, treats the skin of the operating and injection fields, disinfects dental instruments, medical products, and surfaces of devices.
0.5% alcoholic solution of chlorhexidine is the most effective antiseptic of the listed types of chlorhexidine. It helps fight viruses, bacteria and fungi. They may be advised to wipe their hands and use them to disinfect surfaces.
However, despite all the merits, ethanol still takes the first place in the fight against viruses (including COVID-19) and the choice should be made in favor of antiseptics with a content of at least 70% ethyl alcohol.