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About "anti-bacterial" hand gel?

(71 Posts)
itcontinues Mon 05-Sep-16 23:54:14

It's a con. People buy it who are seeking protection from viruses because that's what the advertising implies. But it doesn't protect against viruses, only bacteria, which are less prolific than everyone thinks.
AIBU or do I need a science degree?

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 05-Sep-16 23:55:56

It has its place hmm

Moob Mon 05-Sep-16 23:57:10

Hasn't most of it just been banned in America, because it's basically a load of bollocks?

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 05-Sep-16 23:57:29

Sorry just re-read. Bacteria are less common than everyone thinks? I think you need a science GCSE...

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 05-Sep-16 23:58:27

Hospitals. Pfft what do they know?

Moob Mon 05-Sep-16 23:58:28

Soaps rather than gels.

itcontinues Mon 05-Sep-16 23:58:44

Sorry I didn't mean that - they make you ill less than everyone thinks.

itcontinues Mon 05-Sep-16 23:59:35

Everyone seems to have the mistaken belief that it is bacteria rather than viruses that cause most common illnesses.

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 06-Sep-16 00:01:20

I have had the dubious pleasure of testing hand gel's effectiveness at killing bacteria and can report that the results of growing cultures gleaned from unwashed hands is scary. Cultures from soap and water washed hands still give rather yukky results. But cultures from alcohol gel-ed hands were reassuringly clear.
But, you have to use it thoroughly. No point in hastily swiping it over your grubby fingers, you've really got to rub it in.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 06-Sep-16 00:01:27

Anti bac doesn't necessarily protect against viral infections (happy to be corrected) and there seems to be a public confusion over viral illnesses and antibiotics.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 06-Sep-16 00:02:40

I think people think antibiotics cure viral illnesses.

RunningLulu Tue 06-Sep-16 00:04:03

Most of the stuff in fecal matter is bacteria though. Ecoli being the big one. I use it to protect myself and my kids from that

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Tue 06-Sep-16 00:05:41

Bacteria are everywhere, in very large numbers but not all of them are harmful.

We don't need anti-bac this, that or the other thing. Plain old soap and hot water will do the job quite adequately.

Antibac rubbish gives people a false sense of security when all you need is a bit of common-sense.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 06-Sep-16 00:08:19

There is some argument that the increasing use of anti bacterial 'products' is contributing to antibiotic resistance. Am spouting off the top of my memory here though.
However most antibiotic resistance is coming from consuming need that he's been routinely treated with antibiotics. Next is people overusing antibiotics and cleaning is well behind.

paddlingpool Tue 06-Sep-16 00:08:48

I thought viruses could be fought by your immune system, but if you get a virus and then develop a bacterial infection you then struggle to fight it off naturally. I presumed this was the reason they have been promoted - not to protect healthy people but to stop the spread reaching vulnerable people.
I could be completely wrong smile

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Tue 06-Sep-16 00:09:54

"can report that the results of growing cultures gleaned from unwashed hands is scary. Cultures from soap and water washed hands still give rather yukky results."

Were the bacteria in those cultures all harmful?

ForeverYazoonique Tue 06-Sep-16 00:10:14

We used it when DS2 was receiving chemotherapy and thus heavily immunocompromised (along with hand-washing and other precautions). But generally no - in a domestic setting it's not needed if normal hand washing occurs.,

In hospitals however it is very much necessary.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 06-Sep-16 00:10:32

*consuming need should be consuming meat.

paddlingpool Tue 06-Sep-16 00:14:21

I think antibacterial gel serves a purpose in hospitals simply because you can't rely on people washing their hands. I know a staff nurse responsible for education and monitoring of the spread of bacteria (can't remember her official title), and she has said it is actually very difficult to get staff to understand basic principles. She blames the men the most lol (am sure that's probably a bit unfair)

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 06-Sep-16 00:21:20

Bitter probably not harmful, we didn't test to find out exactly what they were (Y9 Science experiment) but the furry forest in the unwashed hands petri dish made me bloody glad we'd sealed the dishes with tape before allowing them to fester incubating them for a week or so.

I am by no means a clean-freak and my house is testament to that, but I'm not averse to using hand gel if I've been grubby, or in contact with Y9 for that matter wink.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Tue 06-Sep-16 00:24:48


Well op, thank god you came along to enlighten us all then..... Clearly you've 'read something' and thought you could be all clever and controversial

hollinhurst84 Tue 06-Sep-16 00:25:21

I use anti bac soap (under arms) and anti bac gel but for medical reasons. Also hibiscrub to shower with but I don't slosh it about all over the place!

steff13 Tue 06-Sep-16 00:25:36

I keep it in my purse. We only use it if we aren't somewhere where we can wash our hands.

celeste83 Tue 06-Sep-16 00:30:11

A bar of soap is the best for washing hands. Anti bac usually just make the hands unpleasent for viruses to attach to. Best way to stop viruses is to minimise touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

Vickster99 Tue 06-Sep-16 00:32:09

Antibacterial handsoap etc is completely unnecessary and the US has done the right thing by banning it. The ingredients that give the "antibacterial" label such as triclosan are potentially dangerous because evidence shows that they increase antibiotic resistance in bacteria. So should you get a bacterial infection it might not be treatable with some antibiotics because you have unwittingly created an environment in which only the most harmful bacteria survive. Normal soap, bleach and alcohol are just as good at killing bacteria but they dont have this undesirable side effect. The whole "antibacterial" label is nothing but a marketing gimmick that should never have been allowed in the first place.

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