First Aid 101: Antibacterial or Antimicrobial?2018-01-24T17:44:29+00:00

Video Transcript

Today we’re talking about the differences between antimicrobial and antibacterial products. Let’s start by defining our terms. Antimicrobial is the broad category term for a product that kills a wide range of microbes: antibacterials, antivirals, antifungals are all antimicrobials that target a specific type of infectious microbe. For instance, antibacterials and germicides kill bacteria like E coli, and [staphylococcus] aureus. Antivirals work on viruses like influenza, flu or hepatitis. Antifungals [are] known for athlete’s foot. Antiparasitics for tapeworms in food or giardia in water. To combat infection, there are many antimicrobials made for cleaning, not first aid.

For wound care, we have gentler options with two main product choices – the popular antibiotic antibacterial products and broad spectrum antimicrobial products that kill not just bacteria, but also viruses, fungi and parasites. One difference between the two is that some so-called “supergerms” have developed resistance to antibacterials, while broad spectrum antimicrobials are less susceptible to bacterial resistance*. Antimicrobials also keep working for up to three days*, while typically antibacterial ointments lose effectiveness after a few hours. I hope this video helps you stay safe and healthy. Thank you for watching.

* Read label for specific product performance information for each product you use.