Aqueous-based iodophors such as povidone iodine solution (PVP-I) contain iodine complexed with a solubilizing agent that allows for the release of free iodine when in solution. Iodine acts in an antiseptic fashion by destroying microbial proteins and DNA. Iodophor-containing products enjoy widespread use because of their broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, efficacy, and safety on nearly all skin surfaces in patients regardless of age. In the aqueous form, most commercially available iodophors require a 2-step application in a scrub-and-paint technique, and their activity is limited by the amount of time the agent is in contact with the skin.
Ethyl and isopropyl alcohol are 2 of the most effective antiseptic agents available. When used alone, alcohol is fast and short acting, has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, and is relatively inexpensive.1 Alcohol-based solutions that contain CHG or iodophors have sustained and durable antimicrobial activity that lasts long after alcohol evaporation