This past weekend, Kevin MD, told us about Sharpie’s actually being anti-bacterial.
Surgeons use markers to identify the right body part for procedures. Unfortunately, they care become contaminated with bacteria which can lead to surgical site infections.
Enter the Sharpie: "As it turns out, the ink used in a Sharpie pen has an alcohol base, making it an unexpected germ fighter." ….
It is marketed as a permanent marker, but I still find that I have to remind the person prepping the patient to not "scrub too hard" or "that's enough". When you have marked the patient standing or bending in different ways to be sure you get the most skin removed, these positions and maneuvers can't be duplicated in the operating room. During the procedure, I use whatever marker the hospital has, usually the Accu-line products. Those are also what I use when I need a really fine line (ie eyelid) when marking.
The photo to the right is from the first article referenced below. Note how the ink "disappears" with the scrub. Their skin marking ink (1) and frequently used skin markers (2, methylene blue dye; 3, Securline, a surgical skin marker; 4, red permanent marker; 5, black permanent marker; and 6, Viscot, a surgical skin marker). (Center) Skin prepared with povidone iodine solution and scrubbed five times. (Below) Skin prepared with Betadine and scrubbed five times. Their marking ink --The formula consists of basic fuchsin (1.3 g of dye material), 5.6 ml of acetone (resolvent), 11 ml of alcohol (dissolvent), and 100 ml of distilled water. This formula may be diluted by adding alcohol.
Appalachian Mountain Quilters Marking Techniques by Kimberly Wulfert