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What To Do If Your Skin Has Been Exposed To Floodwater

Protect yourself from diseases.
PHOTO: Getty Images

Floodwater is filled with things that are dangerous to your health. Some substances like feces, hazardous waste, coal ash waste, and other contaminants may cause illness. There are also debris and downed power lines that may harm you. You may get wounds, skin rash, gastrointestinal diseases, tetanus, and leptospirosis.

Ideally, you need to stay away protect yourself from floodwater, but in case exposure happens, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends doing the following steps:

  1. Wash the area with soap and water. We recommend this cleanser that effectively gets rid of disease-causing germs. 

    Clean floodwater-exposed skin: Use Betadine Skin Cleanser

    Betadine Skin Cleanser 250ml, P281.52, Lazada


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  2. If soap and water aren't available, disinfect the skin with alcohol or hand sanitizer.

    Clean floodwater-exposed skin: Germ-killing alcohol

    Hygienix Germ Kill Alcohol, P75/500mL, Shopee


  3. For wounds, clean the area first with soap and water (or povidone-iodine solution) and examine for any foreign objects stuck on it. Apply gauze, bandage, or a dry, clean cloth to protect the wound. Don't hesitate to seek medical attention when needed.
  4. Wash floodwater-drenched clothes in hot water and detergent. 
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