Hand hygiene products damage the skin by causing denaturation of stratum corneum proteins, changes in intercellular lipids, decreased corneocyte cohesion, and decreased stratum corneum water-binding capacity.
Among these, the main concern is the depletion of the lipid barrier that may be consequent to contact with lipid-emulsifying detergents and lipid-dissolving alcohols. Frequent hand-washing leads to progressive depletion of surface lipids with resulting deeper action of detergents into the superficial skin layers.
Damage to the skin also changes skin flora, resulting in more frequent colonization by staphylococci and Gram-negative bacilli.
Although alcohols are safer than detergents, they can cause dryness and skin irritation. The lipid-dissolving effect of alcohols is inversely related to their concentration, and ethanol tends to be less irritating than n-propanol or isopropanol.
Other antiseptic agents that may cause irritant contact dermatitis, in order of decreasing frequency, include chlorhexidine, chloroxylenol, triclosan, and alcohol-based products.
Skin that is damaged by repeated exposure to detergents may be more susceptible to irritation by all types of hand antisepsis formulations, including alcohol-based preparations.
So what are the alternatives?
Ebiox Esense Antimicrobial Hand Sanitising Foam Rub.
Ebiox Esense Antimicrobial Hand Cream.