Aa
A
A
A
Close
Infectious Diseases Community
1.81k Members
Avatar universal

How do you properly clean blood off of skin?

I know when there is blood on a surface we are supposed to use a hospital grade disinfectant or a bleach mixture. But, what about when blood gets on skin?
For example, if someone had hepatitis, they would bleach if they got blood on a surface. But, what if they had blood on their skin from a cut, or their period, etc.? What is the most effective way to clean this?
I know people will say soap and water, but how does that get rid of all the germs if it isn't sufficient enough for a surface?
I am worried if I have hepatitis and get blood on myself and wash my hands, then touch something in public after, can I be transmitting the infection? How will I know if my hands are clean enough?
1 Responses
1415174 tn?1453243103
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi, Generally, washing hands with soap and water is  enough to clean the skin if you get  a blood splash. If you still  feel like the blood should be wiped off you can use 3% (topical) hydrogen peroxide to wipe it off. But if you have an open wound or sore then you should wash with soap and water and report it to whomever you work for so they can test you. If it is non-work related and you have an open would and get blood in it wash the area with soap and water and see your doctor right away.  This  is assuming it is a person that you don't know the background of or what they have been exposed to . If your work has different procedures you should follow what they say.
mkh9
5 Comments
Thank you for your response! I am asking because I stepped on a needle about 3 weeks back and have been PARANOID ever since that I have hepatitis or some other disease. I worry now Every time I am out that I am inadvertently spreading this. So, if I cut my skin and washed it with soap and water, or wiped myself and there was maybe a little blood so I washed my hands, and then went to the store for example, I would be worried that I have touched the cart or some other surface, spread my germs, and now someone ELSE will get sick because of me. That is why I am wondering what the best way is to get blood off the skin.
I have a follow up with a doctor, but am not sure if 3 weeks is enough time to test.
Thank you!
Hi, firstly I am not a doctor but I am a microbiologist and can give you some advice. But I am glad you are following up the your doctor. So sorry you stepped on a needle. Do you know where the needle came from? Where was it located when you stepped on it? If the needle had Hepatitis or HIV on it. The HIV would have died off as it doesn't survive long on dry surfaces. Hepatitis can survive for quite a while though. So you should get tested anyway for Hepatitis B and C. But you don't even know if the person was positive for anything. So you probably are fine. There are other Hepatitis strains but I don't know if they have tests for them. I assume they do.  But I think they cause less of an infection than B and C.  Hepatitis A is only food and fecal oral so you don't have to worry about that.  You should talk to the doctor about the chances of getting Hepatitis from a needle stick. But if you got the Hepatitis B vaccine you aren't at risk. Hepatitis C is about 1/1000 chance or 1%. Hepatitis B is higher (unless you got the vaccine) but it depends on how long the needle was there. Did you clean the needle stick or wound right after? That helps. Also there in is a new treatment for Hepatitis C.  If say you cut yourself and you had Hepatitis, you should cover it with a bandaid. If the puncture from the needle is closed you can't transmit it through that.  I don't think you would be much risk. If you do have the antibody for Hepatitis C you should get treated I think. Because years later you can get liver damage. So I would get tested. If positive I would get serotyped or PCR typed to see which type it is. I hope you are negative. You can spread Hepatitis through sex but usually only if there is blood contact. There are a lot of what ifs here. You are probably negative. again you don't even know if the needle was from a positive patient. I was splashed in the face with a blood sample and it got in the eyes , nose and mouth and I rinsed it right away at work and also another time I got stuck by a needle from an HIV positive patient and I was tested both times and was negative after the 3, 6 month test and 1 year. Back then they didn't have molecular testing. Now they can find out within a month by molecular testing. So you can find out about the antibody testing and more information from the doctor. Hope what I said makes sense. Try not to worry. But I know having had this too it is scary.
Regards,
mkh9
p.s. The doctor might test you for HIV. They may have to due to protocol. If they do and you have a choice get the 4th or 5th generation assay. If you are in the U.S. they have a 4th gen.  U.K. has a 5th generation assay.
mkh9
You are so sweet for answering. The needle was just thrown on the ground. I took a walk at night and got home and was like hmmmm I think I stepped on a rock. The next day I took a walk and in the same spot there was a needle. When I saw it the next day it was laying horizontal and the needle was still in tact. I did wash my foot that night but not right away. I had to walk home for about 30 minutes. So I’m unsure if it was a needle stick or a rock.
I have colitis so I get remicade infusions and my GI doctor said I have antibodies for a and b and am immune. He told me he tests all his patients and that was my status as of 2013.
I’m very very paranoid right now.
Not to be tmi, but I have my period. If I get any blood on me I have been freaking out and staying in the house even after washing with soap and water. I’m worried it’s not sufficient enough and I’ll pass on hepatitis if I have it.
I work with kids and am beside myself. I’m afraid to touch them to help tie shoes etc., or pass out supplies for fear of contaminating them.
Sounds like you are immune to Hep A and B then . So you only have to test for C. That is great. C is only 1% chance. I don't see how you can pass on Hepatitis from having your period if you wash your hands. Maybe call your doctor's office.  I think you should be okay.
mkh9
Have an Answer?
Top Infectious Diseases Answerers
1415174 tn?1453243103
CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
Before your drop a dime at the pharmacy, find out if these popular cold and flu home remedies are a wonder or a waste
Fend off colds and the flu with these disease-fighting foods