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astringent (ә-strinĀ“jәnt)   causing contraction or arresting discharges.
  an agent that causes contraction or arrests discharges, usually locally after topical application. Astringents act as protein precipitants and arrest discharge by causing shrinkage of tissue. Skin preparations such as shaving lotions often contain astringents such as aluminum acetate that help to reduce oiliness and excessive perspiration. Witch hazel is a common household astringent used to reduce swelling. Styptic pencils, used to stop bleeding from small cuts, contain astringents. Zinc oxide and calamine are astringents used in lotions, powders, and ointments to relieve itching and chafing in various forms of dermatitis. Some astringents, such as tannic acid, have been used in treating diarrhea; others, such as boric acid and sodium borate, help relieve the symptoms of inflammation of the mucous membranes of the throat or conjunctiva of the eye. Astringents have some bacteriostatic properties, though they are not generally used as antiseptics.

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