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J Hyg (Lond). 1979 Feb;82(1):89-93.

Detergents compared with each other and with antiseptics as skin 'degerming' agents.


Three detergent preparations (bar soap, 'Hibiscrub' base and 'LIC 76'), TWO ANTISEPTic preparations (0.5% chlorhexidine in 95% ethyl alcohol and an alcohol jelly, 'Alcogel'), and one antiseptic-detergent solution (4% chlorhexidine gluconate in a detergent base, 'Hibiscrub') were compared for their effectiveness, on a single use, in reducing the yield of bacteria from the hands of volunteers. The antiseptic and antiseptic--detergent preparations were more effective than the detergents, with a mean reduction in yield of skin bacteria of 96.0% after use of alcoholic chlorhexidine and of 81.2% after use of Hibiscrub. One of the detergents, LIC 76, appeared more effective than the others, causing a mean reduction in the yield of skin bacteria of 41.5%, compared with reductions of 4.6% by the Hibiscrub detergent base and an increase of 3.2% with bar soap; unlike the other detergents, LIC 76 was found to have appreciable bacteristatic and bactericidal properties.

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