Antibacterial soap. Conflicting studies on whether they are good to use!

United States
January 13, 2007 4:25pm CST
Seems we can't even decide how best to wash our hands this day and time! Geeze, we can put a person on the moon, put a man-made heart in someone, and clone a sheep; but we can't figure out something as simple as handwashing! I remember when the hype began about anti-bacterial handwashing products. It was to be the best thing since sliced bread. Kill those germs! Now, studies are showing that they may indeed cause more harm than good by killing 'good' bacteria on our bodies. Also, they are reportedly harming the environment! (I posted some websites where you can read for yourself) What is a person to do!? Do you still use antibacterial handsoap/handwash/dishliquid? http://www.life.ca/nl/107/soap.html http://www.nurseweek.com/features/98-10/soap.html
2 people like this
5 responses
@lauriefnp (5112)
• United States
30 Jan 07
There have been so many reports about antibacterial vs. plain soap, water-free hand cleaners and gels, hot water vs. cold water for handwashing... My belief is that it comes down to soap (any kind), water (hot, cold, or lukewarm) and friction (rubbing the hands together to make a lather) and then rinsing and drying the hands. I don't pay attention to whether or not my soaps are antibacterial, but I'm sure that most of them are because they are the popular ones to put on sale. I think that hand washing technique is what is important rather than the choice of products.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Feb 07
Go Laurie. Everything that you have stated above is true. This has been the standard by which ALL hand washing should be evaluated. I was taught these very same principles many years ago, as a new Surgical Tech. I continue to use these principles even today in my life. I feel that anything you can do to keep the nasty little microbes at bay is a worthwhile endeavor. Does anyone else have an opinion?
@carmat (2850)
• Canada
27 Jan 07
We really should do more research on these things before we put them on the market. I think germs are a mystery and we might need them more than we really think, at least some of them. It is only human though to try to obliterate anything that we see as an inconvience.
1 person likes this
@kesfylstra (1870)
• United States
13 Jan 07
I do use antibacterial handsoap, but that is largely because I have a toddler, and I want to try to keep the bad germs away. I have heard that, though, about it washing away good bacteria. But while my child picks up anything and everything and puts it in her mouth, I will stick with antibacterial for now!
1 person likes this
@rx4life (1932)
• United States
18 Feb 07
It's definitely a conflicted decision on the part of the medical community!!! I work in pharmacy and have both regular soap and antibacterial soap available...I try not to use the antibacterial as often as just washing with soap and water and following a sort of 20 second rule...( washing for 20 seconds)..In my little mind there is no need for AB soap unless you think you have been exposed to bacteria...as for viruses...it seems a good washing with Reg soap should do it..But I must admit..in my car I have the hand sanitizer for the emergency hand cleaning...like after I have been in a gorcery store with my hands on the cart handle and touching all the products...but I try not to use it often...The liquid anitbacterial soap I use at work and at home is tea tree oil soap which is said to have natural antibacterial properties in it and doesnt' have all the "junk" that is in some of the more popular ones!! I'm sure in your profession you have the controversy about these also!!! I have 3 friends that are nurses and we talk about this every now and then...one works transplant and she has allergies to lots of soaps...she has to be really careful....So in answer to your question..I use them sparingly as opposed to regular soap and water!! Good links...Thanks
@loved1 (5336)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I don't even pay attention to whether the soap is antibacterial or not. Soap and water kills germs, period. We tend to make things too complicated.