Quad City Chiropractor: Hand Soap Vs Antibacterial Hand Soap

Quad City Chiropractor Hand Soap Vs Anitbacterial Hand Soap

 

Davenport Chiropractors

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Hand Soap Vs Antibacterial Hand Soap

Has anybody else noticed how difficult it is to buy hand soap that is not antibacterial?  What is the difference?  Is one better than the other?  Will I be healthier if I use a certain one?  Let me break it down for you and then you can let common sense take over.

Hand Soap

First, let’s start with a discussion on hand washing.  The purpose of washing your hands is to clean them by getting dirt and bacteria off of them.  This is a mechanical process where the soap is rubbed over your hands and creates suds.  By using friction, the soap reacts with water and allows the fats in soap to bond with foreign particles on your skin.  The water then washes the foreign particles away and leaves your hands clean.

This is how all soap works.  The point is to get bad stuff off of the skin.  This only works if you take enough time to do it properly.  You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or the amount of time it takes to sing the ABC’s.  Washing all parts of your hands is also a must.

In a nutshell, this is exactly how liquid hand soap works.  There is no killing of bacteria, just getting rid of it.  Plus, once you rinse your hands there is no residue from the soap left on your hands.  That is unless some fragrance has been added and the oil from that remains on the skin.

Antibacterial Hand Soap

Liquid antibacterial hand soap has an active ingredient, usually triclosan, which kills bacteria.  This is basically an antibiotic for your hands.  Like antibiotics, these soaps kill commensal (good) bacteria, as well as non-commensal (bad) bacteria.  Unfortunately, the active ingredient cannot kill every bacterium.  This can lead to bacterial resistance, which allows the bacteria to survive when exposed to certain antibacterial agents.  This means the bacteria are more potent and harder to kill.  Plus, the antibacterial agents leave a residue, which means they remain on the skin even after you rinse and dry your hands.

There is another issue of dioxin formation when triclosan combines with chlorinated water.  Almost all of the water supply is chlorinated by the government to help with dental hygiene.  Dioxins can cause a great number of health problems.  For more information on triclosan and dioxin formation, click here.

The CDC even states that antibacterial soaps are no more effective than regular soaps.  They may even be detrimental to you, because the residue they leave behind may be ingested and cause antibiotic-like effects in healthy people.  This can lead to antibiotic resistance and a weakening of the immune system, thereby increasing sickness. Overuse of antibacterial hand soaps can lead to decreased beneficial bacteria that live in your intestines. This can lead to a number of different health issues. If you are interested, read my post about natural flu prevention and probiotics.

Use common sense and start washing sensibly and correctly. Remember that Chiropractic care in Davenport can help to keep your immune system functioning properly. Be sure to give us a call if you need any help at 563-388-6364. Get Adjusted and Be Well!

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