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April 25, 2006

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections, Other

Question from Coral Springs, Florida, USA:

Is it true that you should not use alcohol swabs to clean area where a finger prick will be done? I was told recently that alcohol dries out the skin on the fingertips and, if it is used to stop the bleeding, it makes it bleed more.

Answer:

You heard correctly. Alcohol can be very drying to the skin. And, alcohol won’t stop the bleeding from a fingerstick. However, the fingertip should be clean and dry. So, if alcohol is the only choice, use it to clean the skin. A good hand lotion will help restore moisture, if needed.

BS