How do antiseptics differ from disinfectants?


How do antiseptics differ from disinfectants? Give one example of each.


Antiseptics and disinfectants are effective against micro-organisms. However, antiseptics are applied to the living tissues such as wounds, cuts, ulcers, and diseased skin surfaces, while disinfectants are applied to inanimate objects such as floors, drainage system, instruments, etc. Disinfectants are harmful to the living tissues.

Iodine is an example of a strong antiseptic. Tincture of iodine (2 − 3 percent of solution of iodine in alcohol − water mixture) is applied to wounds. 1 percent solution of phenol is used as a disinfectant.

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