Well­ness Arti­cles

Antibac­te­r­ial Soap Overuse May Help Spread Dis­ease

From an August 1, 2001 MSNBC arti­cle come news that scrub­bing your hands too often with antibac­te­r­ial soap may actu­ally have the oppo­site effect and make you and oth­ers more sus­cep­ti­ble to dis­ease. Doc­tors at the sum­mer sci­en­tific meet­ing of the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Der­ma­tol­ogy said that, “When overused, the rel­a­tively harsh deter­gent action of antibac­te­r­ial soaps leaves you vul­ner­a­ble to open sores that can attract bac­te­ria, result­ing in skin prob­lems such as eczema.”

Dr. Mar­i­anne O’Donoghue, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of der­ma­tol­ogy at Rush-​Presbyterian St. Luke’s Med­ical cen­tre in Chicago in refer­ring to over wash­ing with antibac­te­r­ial soap said, “This begins a vicious cycle, whereby a per­son who devel­ops hand eczema or another form of der­mati­tis touches a sur­face, leav­ing micro­scopic germs behind. Another per­son comes along, touches that sur­face and he too can be infected with the bacteria.”

Dr. William Baugh, chief of der­ma­tol­ogy at the Beau­fort Naval Hos­pi­tal in Beau­fort, S.C., agreed. “I’ve seen patients who have devel­oped hand eczema from these [antibac­te­r­ial] prod­ucts,” he said. “It cer­tainly can occur [and spread].” Baugh went on to say, “When I ask patients [with eczema] how often they wash their hands, they say 20 to 25 times a day. They think they are being good cit­i­zens by wash­ing fre­quently. But you can over do a good thing.”

Presently it is esti­mated from a recent sur­vey that nearly half of 1,100 liq­uid and solid soaps con­tain antibac­te­r­ial agents. From a dermatologist’s point of view, antibac­te­ri­als are among the most wor­ri­some prod­ucts con­tribut­ing to skin prob­lems, O’Donoghue said. She con­tin­ued, “They lit­er­ally strip away fatty acids, mois­ture and amino acid from the skin.” Baugh added, “Overuse of antibac­te­ri­als is worse than fre­quent use of other soaps as chem­i­cals in the deter­gents strip away the nat­u­rally pro­tec­tive fats and oils on the skin.”

Ran­dom Article

From the Novem­ber /​Decem­ber 2000 issue of Todays Chi­ro­prac­tic, comes a study report on Asthma. The arti­cle notes that approx­i­mately 14

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