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Lubricants - What You Should Know & What You Should Definitely Know

Steven Paul posted this on Nov 29, 2019

Lubrication has long been a part of medical procedures - be it on humans or animals, be it of water or oil. But existing lubricants offer much more safety, and reliability than the ones from yesteryears did. Though you can use almost all of them without looking twice, we think you should look over some facts to make sure you know what you’re buying. 

Description

A gel is a variation of skincare ointment, mainly designed to reduce painful friction against the tissue of internal body parts that is caused during the insertion of external tools like a catheter or any other medical tubing. Though designed to be a multipurpose application, a lubricant’s primary function is providing the patient with utmost comfort and relief during medical procedures administered by a physician, nursing staff or self.

Types & Traits

The three main types of lubricants include Lidocaine Gel (2%), Chlorhexidine Gel, Water-soluble lubricating Gels and natural oil-based lubricants like castor oil, which, although, has not been recognized as a medical-grade lubricant.

Side-Effects 

  • Gel (2%) has shown some adverse effects like slowing of nerve impulses (by effecting the heart muscle), heartbeat strength reduction, and a minor possibility of cardiac arrest – and these are only possible in case of multiple long-time applications.
  • Gel has shown some adverse effects like skin sensitivity (reactions like rash, swelling or itching) and contact dermatitis – recorded in rare cases.
  • Water-soluble lubricating gels have shown no adverse reactions in the patients who were administered with the same, so far, as water itself is a natural lubricant.

Usage

Lubricants are used for a variety of purposes, starting from personal to surgical usage. Some of the basic utilizations can be seen during Nasopharyngeal Airway Insertions (NPA), Feeding Tube Insertion, Endoscopy, Ultrasound, Reproductive Procedures, Vaginal Exams (ultrasound, speculum and digital wands), Rectal Exams (tube placement, enema, medication administration, digital or colonoscopy Foley catheter insertion), X-Rays, Pelvic Examinations, Lithotripsy, Endotracheal Tube Insertion, and various other surgical procedures.

Properties

Proactive properties of lubricants that are authentic for surgical use includes (but is not limited to):

1. Paraben, carbomer and glycerin free composition

2. Non-straining, latex-free, instrument friendly texture

3. Offers the safety of pre-sterilization

4. Bacteriostatic engineering

5. Available in varieties containing or devoid of chlorohexidine

6. Is antimicrobial

7. Is compliant to BPOC regulations

8. Is available in Kosher variations

9. Offer prime viscosity

10. Gender and age safe ingredients (i.e. not harmful for women or children)

11. Safe for lubricating all body orifices

12. Available in non-spermicidal, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and salt-free versions

13. Highly viscous and entirely adherent for medical devices

14. Renders continuous and Instant Lubrication

15. Available in Transparent colors for assistance to clear catheterization

16. Available in non-greasy varieties

17. Reduced risk of suffering through trauma caused by internal catheterization

18. A reduced chance of contracting an infection (i.e. UTI) due to a reduced rate of friction and discomfort

19. Pain reduction

20. Urethral dilation

21. Does not irritate skin, tissues or mucous membranes

22. The water-soluble procedure leads to a more comfortable cleaning session

23. Prevents the skin from getting chapped, chafed or cracked

24. Enables natural dermal moisture-regeneration

25. Has a multipurpose use – personal, surgical instruments and insertions, gloves – you can invent a personalized utilization technique during a lubrication emergency.

Pros

Most of the available lubricants in the market are aimed towards personal use, do not let that fool you into thinking that surgical grade lubricants would fail to cater to that purpose altogether. As surgical lubricants are meant to protect different body orifices during insertion of foreign objects, it is safer to use them for personal use to – and there is a plethora of factors to take your consideration in for, i.e.

1. Smooth as Silk (literally)

Surgical grade lubricant comes devoid of dyes and additives, making it a safer choice for any given case scenario. The water base prevents the lubricants from getting unnecessarily clumpy, flakey or sticky during prolonged use – which, in turn, delivers you with a long-lasting, non-sticky service without having to take breaks in between whatever actions you must be busy with.

2. Maximum Viscosity, Minimum Trouble

A thick texture will provide you with maximum protection from any possible injuries caused by abrasion during intrusive procedures. Comfort, sustainability and longevity are the three base words for these certified products.

3. Bye-Bye Infections, Hello Fresh Air!

The pH level of your intimate areas should be your biggest priority while engaging in any activities regarding that place – be it surgeries, catheterization or private interactions. It is advised to use proper gel or water-based lubricants instead of oil-based lubricants for the same reason. It is better not to use just any soap or personal hygiene products in that area – to maintain healthy flora and let it breathe in peace. A slight change in the acidic level of human genitalia can lead to an unforeseen yeast infection, which might lead to a long-lasting UTI and God forbid any other severe complications. Using a medical lubricant relieves you of such worries – they come pre-sterilized, optimized to provide maximum safety and comfort and protect your hygiene as it was always meant to be protected, before.

4. Catheters? Gynecological Tools? Condoms – or Kink? You’ve Got an All-in-one Solution in Your Hands Now!

Of the highly marketed lubricants and feminine lotions come with a silicone base, as adult industry professionals highly prefer them due to the high shelf life and long-lasting property. What the marketers won’t tell you, is that whereas using a standard lube might seem like an effective go-to option, they will be leaving behind residue which you might not be aware of until it’s too late. Using a medical-grade product means you will be using something trusted upon by thousands of medical practitioners during most complicated procedures (like draining excess fluids from a body cavity or tube-feeding).

However, it will not let you have the chance of shelving it for a long time and make it turn contaminated due to repeated applications in a prolonged period. The funniest thing is, though medical lubricants might not be the first thought coming to your mind while you think of a little roleplay – it’ll assure you with a much better (if not the best) experience with whatever apparatus you might be planning on using. They do not leave any adverse effect on silicone-based (or any other material, really) products like condoms and toys as the conventional lubricants do, by reducing their integrity and rendering them ineffective after a month or so.

Cons 

Like any other products available in this universe, medical lubricants have their drawbacks too – though it might not be as severe or as surprising as you’ve been pining on it to be.

1. Medical Lubricants DO NOT Act as a Spermicide

Medical lubricants do not come with any harmful agents like spermicides included along in their components. Though it might be more of a choice to use more effective birth-control mediums like condoms and other medications for the said purpose, you can be clear about one fact that medical lubes do not hinder any performance issues of any apparatus.

2. Medical Lubricants Do Not Provide Preventions from Any Disease

a. Medical Lubricants are bacteriostatic. i.e., they will not entertain, but limit the bacterial universe inside one’s body. So, as assured you might be while using one for your personal use – make sure to practice safe sex or sanitized insertion of alien products inside any cavities of your body before applying it there.

b. When Not to Use

Highly appraisable a surgical grade lubricant might be, it does not need to be mentioned that it is not an all-purpose invention. Many surgical procedures do not require any pre-lubricated introduction. So, here are a few basic examples of events which you should NOT think of applying a lube in:

1. Oral Intubation

• When requiring lung access, it should never be accessorized with lubricants as there is already a mucous membrane present inside to help make that easy. Lubricants can jam the bronchioles making it harder to breathe and leading to a more complicated and harmful situation.

2. Otoscopic Examination

• It is always advised to not use any kind of external material in sensitive areas like Ear, Nose, and Throat until further prescribed. An auriscopic or otoscopic examination does not require the use of lubricants in any given way. The ear canal is a very dry area that produces its own protective barrier, i.e. earwax to keep any external dust or other minute particles from getting inside and applying a lubricant will hinder its performance. It might lead to complications like ear infections or even pus formation inside the canal.

3. Intravenous Catheterization

• Should be put inside the bloodstream until it is prescribed otherwise. Intravenous catheterization is already provided with its lubrication in the form of blood. One need not worry about dipping it in a lubricant for a time or two if they do not want to see the patient’s veins forming internal clots and maybe risking the chance of contracting sepsis.

4. Ophthalmological Procedures

• The eye is only meant for eyedrops for maintaining a clear vision and an occasional anesthetic injection in case of surgical procedures – but applying a lubricant is a huge no-no. It’ll create an impermeable barrier between your eyelids, making your vision blurry and painful and might lead to a case of severe eye infections like glaucoma if it gets to the inside portions by a mere accident. In case of coming in contact with lubricants and accidentally using that hand to rub your eyes – wash it thoroughly and visit a doctor at your earliest convenience in case of lingering difficulties.

Now that you know about all the basic what’s and why’s and how’s of a surgical lubricant, we think you should also be informed of the fact that “lubricants for men” is a term that ridicules itself. Be it your child, parent, patient or friend – your pet, or the kitchen sink, even, there are a million ways a lubricant can be used for - and if it’s got you thinking the pinch will be a bit heavy for your pocket, well, then I’ll say – worry no more. We have curated a complete list of cost-effective medical lubricants for you – use them daily or once in a while, it’s medically guaranteed to make you smile!

Well, seeing that you’ve reached the end of the page already – here’s to you and your happy family – Happy Lubing, all of you!

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