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Am J Infect Control. 1990 Jun;18(3):194-200.

Intermittent use of an antimicrobial hand gel for reducing soap-induced irritation of health care personnel.

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  • 1Dermal Research Department, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Racine, WI 53403-5011.


We evaluated the effects of an antimicrobial hand gel (containing 60% ethanol plus emollients) on skin condition when used as a supplement to handwashing. Volunteers washed their hands 10 times per day for 5 days with a bar soap. Between washings one hand was treated with 1.0 ml of the gel while the other hand was untreated. By the conclusion of the study the gel-treated hands exhibited significantly lower (p less than 0.05) photographic scores for cracking, scaling, and erythema (redness), the major symptoms of dry, irritated skin. The gel treatment also helped to maintain normal skin hydration levels as measured by transepidermal water loss and skin impedance. By reducing soap-induced irritation, an alcohol gel with the appropriate emollients can help eliminate a major deterrent to handwashing among health care personnel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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