Comparison of preoperative skin preparations for the face
Dermatologic Surgical Procedures
Antiseptic preparation of the skin before dermatologic surgical procedures should provide maximal reduction of cutaneous microflora for the duration of the operation. No data currently exist concerning the efficacy of topical antimicrobials on the most common site of cutaneous surgery, the face. In this study the potency and temporal characteristics of three antimicrobials were tested on the faces of 14 volunteers. A 10-second wipe of 70% isopropyl alcohol was as effective in reducing aerobic microflora at the 5-minute postoperative period as a 60-second alcohol wipe or a 60-second povidone-iodine or chlorhexidine tincture application. At 60 minutes after the application, aerobic bacterial reduction possibly was better maintained by the povidone than by the 10- or 60-second alcohol preparation. None of the antiseptics tested were capable of a profound reduction of the anaerobic flora present on the sebaceous facial regions.