Are Antibacterials in Soaps a Myth?

Are Antibacterials in Soaps a Myth?

If you have been following the national news lately, you may have heard about the recent issue that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has with antibacterial soaps.  The concern being that if you look down the soap isle you will see many soaps claim to have antibacterial qualities, and this may cause you to believe that this will provide added protection to keep your family from getting sick.  That might not be the case, and it might even be causing more harm.

What differentiates a plain soap from an antibacterial soap?

Well, it’s all in the ingredients. Antibacterial soaps contain chemicals that are intended to reduce or prevent sickness and infection. The problem is that these chemicals being used do not show any added benefit to the prevention of illnesses. Normal soap and antibacterial soap are basically equal in their effectiveness.  On top of this, the negative effects on our bodies caused by the chemicals used in antibacterial soaps are unknown.

Another major concern added by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is the rising number of illnesses that are immune to antibiotics. There are larger numbers of cases each year where patients are sick with a superbug illness.  It is thought that some of this rise is connected to the use of antibacterial soaps.

What are the best practices with soaps to keep you and your family healthy?

  • Wash your hands with water and regular soap, scrubbing for about 20 seconds. Be sure to get under those nails!
  • Rinse your hands and dry with a clean towel or air dry.
  • If soap and water is not available then use a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This does not work as well as soap and water, but it will do until you can make it to a sink with soap.

In total, there are 19 chemicals under examination by the FDA. Until they can prove to be beneficial and not harmful, we will not see as many antibacterial soaps on our store shelves.  Regular soap will do the job.  Keep washing your hands regularly.

The best way to a healthy lifestyle is prevention and hand washing is a big part of that! Mark your calendars for Global Handwashing Day on October 15th and get involved in spreading awareness. Washing your hands really can help save lives.

If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call. If you have any tips on how to get involved on Global Handwashing Day, let us know. Feel free to share any of your ideas.

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