As dermatologists venture into ambulatory surgery centers, previously unfamiliar surgical traditions will be encountered. The protocols at the ambulatory center at our university demand that all patients be sterilely prepped regardless of the procedure performed. However, because our ancillary ambulatory surgical staff believed that chlorhexidine and povidone-iodine are flammable, they refused to surgically prepare our patients and refused to perform our cases. We could find no medical literature to dispute their beliefs. So, in addition to reviewing the material safety data sheets of both substances, we performed a small, noncontrolled study with chlorhexidine and povidone-iodine.
Davis DA, Owsley RS, Whitaker DC. Skin Preparation for Laser Therapy. Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(8):1106. doi: