Difference b/w Antibacterial, Antiseptic, Antibiotic, Antimicrobial

There are various terms that are used for the products that get rid of micro-organisms and infections, including:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-septic
  • Anti-biotic
  • Anti-microbial

Sometimes they confuse people that which one should they use. This post is to help you if you’re not sure about these terms and what do they mean.

What is meant by Antibacterial?

As the name indicates, anti-bacterial refers to something which is against the bacteria. These products most likely kill the bacteria.

These can be either pills you eat or creams or lotions for topical application.

What is meant by AntiSeptic?

Septic means related to or causing putrefaction. Antiseptic agents cover all agents which prevent infections and kill a wide range of micro organisms, including bacteria.


What is meant by Antibiotic?

Bio refers to life. Antibiotics cover various agents which kill various microorganisms in common terminology. More commonly, these agents focus more on bacteria and few other types of lives. However they  don’t usually cover fungi or viruses.

What is meant by Antimicrobial?

Microbes refers to organisms which are microscopic. This covers a wide range of organisms. Antimicrobial agents usually kill various organisms including bacteria and fungi.

Avoid using unnecessary antimicrobial, antibiotic, antiseptic, etc agents

It’s important to understand that one should avoid unnecessary usage of any of these products which are intended to kill various organisms inside or outside of our body.

Obviously harmful organisms like bacteria or fungi, when causing infection or posing harm to a person, should be dealt with accordingly in the best possible manner. But always consult your doctor before using any chemicals for such purposes.

A lot of microorganisms including bacteria are useful for our body. Killing them can lead to a lot of problems, and also giving a chance to more harmful microorganisms to grow and take their place.

Similarly using these agents unnecessarily also pose a risk of developing resistance to those checmicals, and this will mean that they won’t work for you when you’ll really need them.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *