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Difference between Antiseptic and Antibiotic

Difference between Antiseptic and Antibiotic

There is a lot of confusion between the terms ‘antiseptic’ and ‘antibiotic.’ Both are used to fight infection, but they work in different ways. Antiseptics are chemicals that kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms in living tissue. Antibiotics are drugs that treat infections caused by bacteria. If you need something to kill germs on your skin, use an antiseptic. If you have a bacterial infection, take antibiotics. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two types of infection fighters.

What is Antiseptic?

  • Antiseptic refers to any substance that helps to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Antiseptics are commonly used to clean wounds and prevent infections.
  • The most common type of antiseptic is alcohol, which is used in many hand sanitizers and disinfectants. Antiseptics are also often used in household cleaners and bleach.
  • Antiseptics work by killing bacteria or inhibiting their growth. In some cases, they can also help to speed up the healing process. Antiseptics are generally safe for use on the skin, but they can cause irritation in some people. It is important to follow the instructions on the label carefully when using any type of antiseptic.

What is an Antibiotic?

  • Antibiotics are a type of medication that is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They work by killing the bacteria or preventing them from multiplying. Antibiotics are usually taken by mouth in the form of pills, capsules, or liquids. However, some types of antibiotics can also be given as injections.
  • Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections and will not work against infections caused by viruses, such as the flu or the common cold. When used properly, antibiotics are generally safe and have few side effects.
  • However, overuse of antibiotics can lead to resistance, which means that the bacteria become resistant to the antibiotic and it no longer works. Antibiotics should only be used when necessary and as directed by a healthcare provider.

Difference between Antiseptic and Antibiotic

  • Antiseptics are chemical compounds that are applied to living tissues to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction. Antibiotics are antimicrobial compounds produced by bacteria and fungi that kill or inhibit the growth of other microorganisms.
  • Antiseptics are used on inanimate objects, whereas antibiotics are used to treat infections in animals and humans. Antibiotics are more specific than antiseptics and only kill or inhibit the growth of particular types of bacteria.
  • Antiseptics can also be toxic to human cells and should be used with caution. When used properly, both antiseptics and antibiotics can be effective at preventing infection.


Antiseptics and antibiotics are both important tools in the medical field, but they have different purposes. It is important to understand the difference between them so that you can use them appropriately. If you have any questions about which one to use for a specific situation, please consult your doctor or another medical professional. Thank you for reading!

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