Send to

Choose Destination
J Hosp Infect. 2003 Dec;55(4):295-8.

Dermal tolerance of Sterillium, a propanol-based hand rub.

Author information

BODE Chemie GmbH and Co., Scientific Affairs, Melanchthonstrasse 27, 22525 Hamburg, Germany.


Alcohol-based hand rubs have been used for hygienic hand disinfection in hospitals for decades. In order to achieve good compliance with hand hygiene practices in the healthcare setting, dermal tolerance of a hand rub product is crucial. Sterillium, which is used in many European countries for hygienic hand disinfection, is based on iso-propanol, n-propanol and mecetronium etilsulphate. The potential for dermal irritation and sensitization of commercially available propanol-based hand rubs containing emollients has not been studied systematically. We therefore studied the dermal tolerance of Sterillium in a repetitive occlusive patch test on 55 subjects. Sterillium was applied to one site on the back under an occlusive patch during an induction phase (total of nine applications over a three-week period) and two weeks later to a virgin site on the back during a challenge phase (one application). Twenty-four hours after removal of the patches (induction phase and challenge phase), and in addition, after 48 and 72 h (challenge phase), the sites were graded for skin reactions using a standardized scoring scale. In the induction phase, two of the 55 subjects had a barely perceptible minimal erythema at one of nine time points. The remaining 53 subjects had no skin reaction at any time. In the challenge phase, all 55 subjects had no skin reaction at all. The absence of significant reactions with respect to severity and frequency demonstrates the favourable dermal tolerance of the hand rub product. The lack of irritation or sensitization potential could enhance compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center