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Liquid Bandages Rev

Liquid bandages using chlorine chemistry may promote wound healing

Posted August 8th, 2018

Quick summary:

  • Liquid bandages containing a chlorine-based compound offer a promising alternative to conventional bandages
  • One of the ingredients, benzethonium chloride, is believed to play a major protective role as an antiseptic, and in supporting tissue repair.

Liquid bandages, found in most drug stores, offer an alternative to conventional bandages to protect minor wounds from infection, writes Made from a mixture of ingredients – including benzethonium chloride, nitrocellulose and castor oil – liquid bandages are brushed onto the wound and left to dry. This forms a seal to keep out dirt and bacteria, and may also reduce pain by blocking nerve endings in the wound.

The main active ingredient, benzethonium chloride, is a powerful antiseptic that plays a key protective role. This substance contains proteins that work with surrounding skin cells for tissue repair, says; liquid bandages “may in fact benefit wound healing.”

One study found that benzethonium chloride was effective at killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria or MRSA, a ‘superbug’ that is very hard to treat. Of the other ingredients, nitrocellulose is said to help in closing wounds, while castor oil is helpful for various skin conditions and for wound healing.

Liquid bandages are quick to apply, and result in “less chance for infection since the wound is sealed shut,” notes Medline Plus; “using these products may also help keep scars from forming at the injury site.” Further, a study found skin allergies to benzethonium chloride are rare.

However, these products “should not be used for large areas or areas involving the eyes or the mouth, and for period longer than a week if there is no improvement,” says The website advises readers to “see a qualified health care professional if your injury involves deep puncture wounds, serious burns, animal bites, infection…if the bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes of directly applying pressure, fever, or severe pain.”

Thanks in part to chlorine chemistry, liquid bandages are a suitable alternative to conventional bandages to help heal small wounds and prevent infections from potential superbug bacteria.

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