The ideal operation, from an aseptic standpoint, is one in which every element connected with the procedure is free from germ life. The use of moist heat and formaldehyd gas as sterilizing agents places everything, except the skin, within the realm of the ideal. The use of sterile rubber gloves by the operator and his assistants places them, also, from a practical point of view, within the same realm. The skin of the field of operation alone remains as a subject for thought, study and experimentation.
From the point of view of the artist, the skin is a beautiful, perfectly smooth covering of the framework of the body; from the point of view of the physiologist, the skin is a wonderful regulator of bodily temperature, a marvelous excretory apparatus, a soft, pliable covering which protects the underlying tissues from the corrosive action of the air and of fluids or other
A. D. WHITING. THE LOCAL PREPARATION OF PATIENTS FOR OPERATION. JAMA. 1914;LXIII(6):474–476. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570060034010