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Better Get the Betadine

I’m a big fan of those medicines out there that just do everything. 

You know what I’m talking about: When something hurts inside, you can always turn to Ibuprofen or Paracetamol. Whether you’ve got a headache or a sprained ankle, it just works its magic. But sadly, it doesn’t these magic bullets are not so magical when dealing with things on the outside. For that you’ll need a certain brown potion that rids the area of bacteria, infection, yeast, mould, fungi and viruses, all without causing you any harm; a certain elixir that has powerful antiseptic qualities; a draught that has saved millions of lives around the world. I am of course talking about Betadine. 

The reason Betadine works so well is because of an active ingredient called Iodine. If you’ve ever seen surgeons scrubbing up as they enter or exit the operating theatre, they are probably using this in some capacity. This is the real deal. It has a number of uses, and today, I will be explaining how best to leverage the power of Betadine so that you can stay as healthy and happy as possible. Betadine has a formative role in my childhood, and if you get to the end, I’ll explain that in more detail.

Topical Antiseptics 

This is one of the most powerful antiseptic products available to purchase. The active ingredient Iodine deactivates the organisms (your bacterias or fungi) which would infect an open wound. You might have seen people come back from hospital, and the site of the wound is a bronzey golden colour? That is the Betadine making sure they don’t pick up an infection. Any time you have broken the protective barrier of the skin, you are open to infection. This is especially true when the thing which penetrated the skin has left little fragments of itself (splinters, shards of metal etc). You should thoroughly wash the affected area with a saline solution, and then apply Betadine to kill any remaining germs or bacteria. When the skin fades to a light yellow, you should re-apply the betadine to reinforce the protective shield. Don’t worry, it doesn’t stain skin or fabrics in the long run. 

Fun fact: Before the advent of such antiseptics, hospitals were actually a fairly dangerous place to go. Your odds of picking up something like sepsis or gangrene were incredibly high because there was an immense concentration of sick people, and no way to properly kill the germs. An English professor of surgery, Sir James Simpson said “A man laid on the operating table in one of our surgical hospitals is exposed to more chance of death than was the English soldier on the field of Waterloo.”  In many ways, products like this completely changed the world of medicine.

Sore throat

OK, so this might not sound quite as serious as the reason above, but when you are in the grips of a sore throat which could slay a walrus, you will be champing at the bit for any kind of relief. Essentially, a sore throat  is an infection at an ‘open site’ of the body – It is just that this particular open site is called the mouth and is intended to be open. This is why we need to be all the more watchful, as germs have an easy route of entering your body.

Betadine has a number of products which can help you kick your sore throat. There is an antiseptic gargle to blitz the infected site with more antibacterial bodies than it can cope with. Alternatively, there are lozenges that are stacked full of anaesthetic and antiseptic so that there is a long slow release. If you keep hydrated and regularly flood the part of the throat with antiseptic, the sore throat should be gone in a day or so. If nothing changes, you should seek advice from a medical professional.

Cold Sore

And again, this might sound even less important than the sore throat. But I challenge anyone to look at a scabby cold sore plastered against their lip and think ‘big deal’. In that moment, it is the biggest deal. Fortunately, Betadine have got you covered. A cold sore is nothing more than a common infection, so the antiseptic qualities of Betadine are just as effective as with anything else. There are a few different stages which are helpful to know

  • Stage 1: No visible signs, but you can feel tingling around the infected area
  • Stage 2: The blister shows up on the lip
  • Stage 3 – the blister becomes crusty and another infection is on its way

It’s an unenviable position. But Betadine Cold Sore Ointment can be used to minimise the duration of all three stages. There are no cures for a cold sore entirely. Sadly, it stays with you all your life, but you can get on the front foot early.

It is the magic bullet for external injuries, preventing infection and bacteria wherever they might rear their ugly heads. It is worth having a bottle of Betadine at the ready, because serious injuries are rarely planned. All we can do is be ready.

Now, I mentioned that Betadine had been a big part of my childhood. It’s an unusual claim, but stay with me: When I was a young boy, my Grandfather used to have five or six bottles of Betadine stashed away in the medicine cupboard. Everytime me or one of my cousins would so much as graze a knee, he would come in for an inspection, click his tongue a few times, and mutter ‘Better get the Betadine”. A Bee sting? Betadine. Slight headache? Rub some Betadine onto your temples. We all used to seriously doubt Grandad’s medical credentials (and for good reason, since he bought and sold cattle), but as I progressed through my medical training, I was somewhat bemused to learn just how on the money he was. As an act of penance, I visited his gravestone and poured some Betadine onto the grass. He’s yet to have come back to life, but wherever he is, I am sure suddenly felt much healthier. Thanks Grandad.

Sincerely, 

Floyd