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How Do I Choose the Best Medical Wipes?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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The best medical wipes will depend largely on what they will be used for. There are wipes designed specifically for removing medical adhesive, cleaning and disinfecting wounds, wiping down patients who cannot bath on their own, and prepping the skin for the insertion of a needle. Some are used primarily in health care settings, but some can be used at home for the care of wounds or for daily cleaning. To determine the type of medical wipes you need, it is best to talk to your doctor. He or she will let you know which types are most suitable for your situation.

One form of medical wipes is used to remove adhesive from the skin. Adhesive may be used to attach bandages and other treatment devices. When these devices are removed, they can leave a thick film behind. There are specialized wipes that can remove this film more easily than soap and water alone.

Other forms of medical wipes clean the skin before a medical procedure or in the treatment of minor wounds. There are various ingredients which may be used as disinfectant for these purposes, including ethanol alcohol, iodine, or hydrogen peroxide. Most times, it doesn't matter which of these ingredients is used for the cleansing of skin, although a doctor will usually be the one to administered a medical procedure requiring disinfectant. If you have a minor injury, you may consider using wipes that won't cause stinging or burning upon application, such as hydrogen peroxide as opposed to alcohol.

Other types of medical wipes exist that are designed to clean patients who can't take conventional baths or showers after surgery, or those who are bedridden. These wipes are made to clean and disinfect the body as well as soap and water, but they can be administered by a nurse or caretaker while the patient is lying in bed. This allows them to stay clean and comfortable, even when taking a daily bath isn't possible.

Just as with any medical device or medication, you should consult with a doctor before deciding on medical wipes. This is especially important if you have had a medical procedure which requires consistent care. You should also consider price when making a decision, since some wipes may be more expensive than others.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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