Maximum possible reduction of the physiological microbial mucous membrane flora, including pathogens colonising it.
Mucous membrane antisepsis is mainly carried out:
- before urinary tract catheter placement
- for mouth hygiene
- prior to surgical procedures (gynaecology, urology)
Products for mucous membrane antisepsis need to fulfil special requirements, as mucous membranes are very sensitive and receptive to toxins. Hence, the products need to be gentle, and may neither damage the mucous membrane tissue nor trigger allergies.
Due to these requirements, mucous membrane antiseptics possess a limited spectrum of activity only. They reduce the number of microorganisms, but do not eliminate them completely. When carried out properly and in combination with other antiseptic measures (hand disinfection), mucous membrane antisepsis fulfils its prophylactic task.
PVP-Iodine and octenidine are the most common active substances. In Germany, mucous membrane antiseptics are considered Over-the-counter medicines.