Antiseptics are appropriate alternatives to antibiotics for the management of localised superficial skin infections. According to a study by Lachapelle et al (2013), povidone iodine has the broadest spectrum of antimicrobial activity of the available antiseptics, and has a rapid and persistent microbicidal effect. The following article is based on their findings. Povidone iodine is active against Gram-positive and -negative bacteria, bacterial spores, fungi, protozoa and several viruses, including H1N1 influenza virus (swine flu).

There is an urgent need for well-designed studies directly comparing the clinical and economic profiles of antiseptics.

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