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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.


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.