[Question #7118] Liquid Bandages transmit HIV or Hep C?

8 months ago
Hello - I was at a friend’s house and cut my finger pretty deep. A few hours after cutting it (it had stopped bleeding for the most part) my friend applied liquid bandage to my cut. She also mentioned she used it one day prior on a cut on her hand that also was bleeding. To apply, a small brush, like a nail polish brush, is used to brush the liquid into the cut. So we both used the same brush and liquid bandage one day apart - I was the second person to use it. 

Can HIV or Hep C be transmitted through liquid bandages? Like can it live in the liquid and on the little brush used to apply the liquid?  The ingredient in the liquid is .2% Benzethonium Chloride at .2%. Would that kill HIV and Hep C if it were to have been contaminated with her blood - like if her blood got transferred from her finger in to the bottle and on the brush that’s stored in the bottle?Also, I have no reason to think she has either HIV or Hep C, but still it is freaking me out. Also, I don’t know if anyone else used the liquid bandage prior to her - like another guest, for example. Is there any risk I could have caught HIV or Hep C from this situation?

Thanks 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
8 months ago
Welcome to our forum. Thanks for your question. It is my pleasure to let you know that the contents of the liquid bandage (the Benzethonium coride) is toxic for both viruses and bacteria. In the very unlikely circumstance that your friend had either HIV or hepatitis, the virus would not survive on the brush while in the bottle on in contact with the liquid bandage.  There is no reason for concern and no reason for testing. 

I hope this information is helpful to you and relieves your concerns. Should you need any clarification or have further questions, please feel free to use you were up two to follow up questions for clarification. Take care. EWH
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8 months ago
Thank you so much, Dr.  If I’m understanding correctly, even if blood came off my friend’s cut on her finger and on to the brush/liquid that I then used - both HIV and Hep C would be killed by the Benzethonium Chloride? Is the risk an absolute zero - as in zero chance I could catch an infection from possibly someone else’s blood getting into the bottle with Benzethonium and then getting in to my cut? Thank you so much for the reassurance and after this I won’t bother you with any additional questions. Thanks!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
8 months ago
Yes, your understanding is correct.  Zero risk, even if you fried was infected.  No concerns.  EWH---