News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Antibacterial Soap No Better than Regular Product

More than 45% of soaps on the market contain antibacterial ingredients that promise to kill germs on contact. But do they rid your hands of germs? Not any better than regular soap, says a recent study.

Soaps Tie at Germ-Killing Ability
Primary caregivers in more than 220 households agreed to participate in a yearlong study. Half used antibacterial soap containing 0.2% triclosan to wash their hands. The rest washed their hands with regular soap.

Regular hand-washing helped kill germs on the hands of all the participants. But the type of soap product didn't make a difference. The antibacterial soap users had about the same amount of germs on their hands at the end of the year as the plain soap users.

Regular Soap May Actually Fight Bacteria More
Though both soaps proved equal at germ warfare, regular soap could be the safer choice. Some evidence suggests that frequent use of antibacterial products could produce germs that are resistant to the chemicals used to kill them. This theory, however, is not yet proven.

Suds Up for Proper Protection
Soap—no matter what kind—works better against germs if you wash your hands properly. When used frequently, the following techniques can prevent colds, the flu, food poisoning, and other illnesses:

  • Moisten hands under warm, running water.
  • Soap up wet hands and rub vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds. Scrub your hands, fingers, and under your nails. Wash the inner sides of your fingers and the creases in your palms, too.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel. To prevent dry skin, apply some lotion after washing. 

No comments: