Q:

What are the uses of benzalkonium chloride?

A:

Quick Answer

Benzalkonium chloride is used as a topical disinfectant. It prevents infection, and it is applied to minor burns, cuts and scrapes. Common mild reactions include irritation at the site of application. More severe reactions can also occur.

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Full Answer

Before applying a solution of benzalkonium chloride to the skin, there are several points to remember. It should only be used topically, meaning it should only be applied to the surface of the skin and not to the eyes or any other mucous membrane. The area of skin should be washed before applying. Hands should be washed as well. A small amount should be applied to the area up to three times a day. Sterile bandages may be used for the area that was treated. The affected area should be dried before treating. Do not apply to any areas that are blistered.

Like all medications and drugs, benzalkonium chloride may interact with other medications. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may want to check with their doctor before using benzalkonium chloride. Using the product too often may worsen the condition. A doctor's guidance should be sought before using the solution on children younger than 2 years of age to discuss whether another product is more effective or safer.

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