Is Savlon Antiseptic Liquid Safe For Newborns?


A liquid antiseptic is a substance that inhibits the growth of microorganisms and reduces the risk of infections. It is often used in the hospital while performing surgery or attending to other health-related issues, little wonder the smell compares to a ‘hospital smell.’ However, due to their importance, antiseptics have, over time, found and retained their firmness in households.


While there are similarities between antiseptic and disinfectant, both serve different purposes. Antiseptics are used directly on the skin, while disinfectants are for inanimate surfaces prone to germs. Disinfectants are an excellent choice for sterilising surgical equipment.


Nonetheless, both contain chemical agents like biocides and hydrogen peroxide, although antiseptics contain a lower concentration.


General uses of antiseptic liquids

Antiseptics have several multifunctional uses, as seen below:

  • It can treat skin infections, minor cuts, burns, or wounds.
  • They are used on the skin before piercing for surgery or injection. This is to prevent microorganisms from getting in through the opening.
  • For laundry purposes and mopping floors.


Savlon antiseptic liquid

This type of antiseptic is an antibacterial and antifungal substance due to the presence of two active ingredients-Chlorhexidine Gluconate and Cetrimide. Both are essential for preventing the spread of unseen germs. 


Chlorhexidine Gluconate is highly germicidal and is particularly effective against gram-positive bacteria and fungi. Cetrimide serves the purpose of fixing seborrheic dermatitis and infections from cuts. 


Savlon antiseptic liquid is one of the products of the Savlon brand, manufactured by Johnson and Johnson. Savlon  ASL performs multi-functions, first aiding minor cuts and burns, mopping, laundry, and bathing. 


Savlon has other products like hygiene soap, antiseptic cream, and healing gel. Savlon's antiseptic liquid comes in 75 ml, 125 ml, 250 ml, 500 ml, 750 ml, and 2 L.



Savlon antiseptic liquid has Cetrimide 3.0% W/V and Chlorhexidine Gluconate 0.3% W/V as the key ingredients. Other ingredients include isopropyl alcohol, terpineol, liquid deodoriser, benzyl benzoate, D-gluconolactone, sodium hydroxide, and purified water.


Should you use savlon antiseptic liquid on newborns? 

The delicateness of a baby’s skin makes it susceptible to reactions. Therefore, pay adequate care to your baby’s skin. Most antiseptics contain harsh chemicals that may introduce a baby to the risk factors of blotched skin or become absorbed in the blood, causing vital organ defects even when diluted. 


Savlon antiseptic liquid is unsafe for newborns, even at a low concentration. Chlorhexidine is proven to curb umbilical cord infection in newborns. Cetrimide is helpful for nappy rash. Still, the antiseptic liquid contains an ingredient like benzyl benzoate, which may contribute to making it unsuitable for newborns.


You are also not expected to add any form of antiseptics to your baby’s bathing water. Using just boiled clean water without antiseptics alongside a PH-balanced soap is crucial. In skin lesions or reactions in your baby, seek medical attention instead. 


Side effects of salvon antiseptic 

Savlon contains cetostearyl alcohol, parahydroxybenzoates, and fragrances that may likely result in skin irritation or allergic reactions.


How much is salvon antiseptic?

Savlon antiseptics come in different sizes, and the cost depends on it and the pharmaceutical store you wish to purchase from. It falls between the range of N900-N8000 for 250ml-2.5l.



Some hospitals recommend using savlon antiseptic, but you should check with a paediatrician before use.


Savlon antiseptics have, over time, been proven to be effective in eradicating 99% of germs when used. Still, because of the scope of this article on the safety of newborns, there is skepticism about it. 

However, even in adults, note that antiseptics are highly concentrated, and therefore it is always best to dilute them in water to make them safe for use.

For general antiseptic cleansing, dilute 60 – 90ml in 1,0 – 1,5l of water. For first aid, dilute 5ml in 100ml water for first aid. Do not use it often, as it can be harmful, and ensure you do not administer it on large wounds and severe burns. Stay off antiseptics that contain triclosan ingredients.

In case of any adverse effect on your baby’s skin or non-responsiveness to healing, kindly consult your baby’s doctor.

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