In the medicine chest of a family, alcohol, cotton buds are very common items. However, many people do not know much about how to select and preserve these items. First of all, the cotton buds in the medicine chest should be sterile cotton buds, not the ones sold in regular supermarkets with cotton wrapped at both ends. The cotton buds, which are wrapped in cotton at both ends, are not sterilized and are only suitable for ordinary cleaning such as makeup.
Cotton buds from hospitals are often double-wrapped. The cotton buds are sterilized by high temperature and pressure and have a shelf life of two weeks when unopened. However, in humid areas in the south, or in the spring rainy season, the paper is prone to moisture, which allows bacteria to penetrate into the packaging, so the shelf life of the eco friendly cotton buds at this time is likely to be only about a week.
Cotton buds from drugstores are mostly sealed in plastic bags. The cotton buds are sterilized with ethylene oxide gas and have a shelf life of 2 to 3 years. When buying these sterile cotton buds, be sure to check the production date and shelf life. In addition, it is necessary to check whether the package is complete. If the surface of the bag is not smooth and flat, but has a patchy texture (indicating a strong squeeze), it means the bag may have been slightly damaged and the cotton bud may have been contaminated with bacteria.
Sterile makeup cotton buds in hospitals mark the opening time on their paper packaging when they are unsealed. If they are not used up within 24 hours, they should be resealed and then sent to a high temperature and pressure chamber for sterilization. This is because it is currently believed that once the sealed sterile cotton bud is opened, if stored properly, it can remain sterile within 24 hours; After 24 hours, cotton buds will inevitably be contaminated by microorganisms in the air, and at this time they are "cotton buds with bacteria", which are no longer suitable for disinfection of the wound, but should be sterilized again.
Generally, families do not use many cotton buds at ordinary times, and there is no condition to sterilize the eco friendly cotton buds remaining 24 hours after opening. Therefore, it is recommended to use the cotton buds as regular makeup cotton buds or discard them, not for wound treatment.
Sterile cotton buds are necessary for skin disinfection. Once contaminated, they may cause infection in the wound. Some people think, anyway, cotton buds are to dip some alcohol, iodophor and other disinfectant, so a little bacteria is not an issue.
However, they don't know that disinfection and sterilization are two different concepts. Disinfection is the killing of pathogenic microorganisms on articles; Sterilization is the complete destruction of all pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms, including spores, on articles. Sterilization includes disinfection, and disinfection cannot replace sterilization. That is to say, alcohol, iodophor and other disinfectants can kill pathogenic microorganisms, but if the cotton bud is not sterile, but with spores and other microorganisms, then the disinfectant will not be able to do anything about it, and even the disinfectant will be contaminated. Therefore, to ensure the sterility of eco friendly cotton buds is an important measure to prevent infection. Boxed cotton buds are the least susceptible to contamination, but they are not immune to the fate of being thrown away daily-- if left open for more than 24 hours, they become "bacterial-laden products" that have to be discarded or "discounted" instead of being used to disinfect wounds.
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