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Old 10-29-2005, 04:18 PM
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Default Anti Bacterial Soaps don't work....

SILVER SPRING, Maryland (Reuters) - Antibacterial soaps and disposable wipes have not been proven any more effective than regular soap in preventing infections among average consumers, U.S. health experts said on Thursday.


But if plain soap and water are not readily available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a "useful" alternative, the advisory panel said in a unanimous vote.

Panel chairman Dr. Alistair Wood, assistant vice chancellor at Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine, said using plain soap and water was shown to be "pretty effective."

"There was no data I saw that showed antiseptic hand washing is any better," he said.

Consumer products that include bacteria-fighting ingredients should be required to have scientific data proving they prevent infections, the advisory panel also said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has been grappling with the issue for more than 30 years, asked the panelists to weigh the risks of such products for consumers amid concerns they may help create drug-resistant bacteria.

The agency has yet to make a final decision on how to regulate such products, which face many issues similar to antibiotic drugs, but are available over-the-counter.

"We're reexamining the risks to consumers," said FDA microbiologist Colleen Rogers.

FDA officials, who usually follow their experts' advice, could take a variety of actions, from changing product labels to restricting marketing claims.

At issue are antibacterial products that include chemicals such as triclosan, which targets a certain enzyme that bacteria need to live and may linger in the environment. Bacteria can mutate to adapt to such chemicals, scientists say.

Soaps with such bacterial-killing agents, such as Procter & Gamble Co.'s Safeguard and Henkel's Dial have been used for years and are now common households products.

Doctors and other experts are concerned that excessive use of the products, like overuse of antibiotic drugs, will create bacteria-resistant "superbugs."

"Bacteria are not going to be destroyed. They've been here, they've seen dinosaurs come and go... so any attempt to sterilize our home is fraught with failure," said Dr. Stuart Levy, a non-voting panelist and microbiologist at Tufts University in Boston.

Signs of drug-resistant bacteria in hospitals show the bugs are already adapting, he added.

FDA scientists and other experts said studies showed clear benefits from hand washing with plain soap, but data on antibacterial soap was limited.

"There is a lack of evidence that antiseptic soaps provide a benefit beyond plain soap in (the) community setting," said University of Michigan epidemiologist Allison Aiello.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers caused less concern.

While one expert said data did not show they were better than plain soap, others said they do prevent the spread of germs without leaving a residue that can trigger resistance.

Industry groups defended their antibacterial products as safe and necessary to protect consumers.

"The importance of controlling bacteria in the home is no different than in the professional setting," said Elizabeth Anderson, a lawyer for the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. "We believe consumers should be assured that the products they are using are the most effective available."

The FDA has been sorting through the issue since 1972. Six years later it asked for more data on triclosan and again in 1994.
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:20 AM
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Default Ban the stuff

I will not allow such products in my home, I feel that they cause more harm than good. I think that the companies that sell them are preying on the general public's ignorance about such things. The misuse of antimicrobials is already causing serious problems such as TB that is resistant to all known antibiotics, and the problems are only going to get worse if this keeps up. Well, enough of my ranting.

Karen
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:02 PM
Emily
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I'm with Karen on this one. Anti-bacterial soap sucks. It's bad and stuff.
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:05 PM
CoolHandCake
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Aye. I don't use them myself either.
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:08 PM
Emily
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Simply eloquent, Cake. Simply wonderful.
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Old 11-06-2005, 11:48 AM
Norby
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I use antibacterial and regular soap (and rubbing alcohol when soap is not available.) The way I look at things (being raised/indoctrinated by two doctors), if antibacterial soap is creating superbugs, science will come up with a new antibacterial agent. That works until the germs develop an immunity and then a new antibacterial agent... etc. ad naseum.
However, I still prefer regular soap to antibacterial any day.
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:39 PM
jack1
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Hello All,

This is really the very good discussion regarding the antibactirial soap and medication.We are some times facing the antibactirial disorders which is sometime very serious and important thing is to use tha right medication.iodine dosages are doing some better performance in this field .Is this better and what are the side effects for that and which precautions are needed is necessary.
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:49 PM
Vireyda
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I use body wash because I have senisitive skin and it doesn't aggravate it as much, plus the loofah is a great exfoliant! Soaps are important for removing dirt and oils even if they aren't good at removing microbes/bacteria. I don't use an antibacterial hand soap though - moisturizing hand soaps only in my home and they HAVE to smell nice.
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:37 PM
GERMan
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Another interesting one, on disinfectants and allergies, from wikipedia.org, query: "allergies":

"The hygiene hypothesis
One theory that has been gaining strength is the "hygiene hypothesis". This theory maintains that since children in more affluent countries are leading a cleaner and cleaner life (less exposure to dirt, extra use of disinfectants, etc), their immune systems have less exposure to parasites and other pathogens than children in other countries or in decades past. Their immune systems may, therefore, have many "loaded guns", cells which might have targeted, say, the intestinal worms that no longer cause trouble in affluent neighbourhoods. Having no reasonable target, these cells inadvertently become activated by environmental antigens that might only cause minor reactions in others. It is the symptoms of this exaggerated response that is seen as the allergic reaction.

Many common allergies such as asthma have seen huge increases in the years since the second world war, and many studies appear to show a correlation between this and the increasingly affluent and clean lifestyles in the West. This is supported by studies in less developed countries that do not enjoy western levels of cleanliness, and similarly do not show western levels of incidences of asthma and other allergies. During this same period, air quality, at one time considered the "obvious" cause of asthma, has shown a considerable improvement. This has led some researchers to conclude that it is our "too clean" upbringing that is to blame for the lack of immune system stimulation in early childhood.

So far the evidence to support this theory is limited."

Speaking of soap, it's better than antibiotic-enriched soap but mind that soapbars are known to be mostly high in pH. Meaning, they're mild bases and take away our natural acid protection...

I think antibiotic soap should be left to people dealing with mean shoot, like doctors and nurses or tourists in the tropics.
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:41 PM
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Lightbulb

The reason poli took off in the US is because of the same thing, kids were not exposed to the virus as infants on their mother's milk which would have protected them while they made their own antibodies to the virus. When the kid was exposed to the virus later in life they had no protection and got sick. Perhaps exposing children to mild parasites so that their immune system has something to play with is the answer. Also not keeping everything psychotically clean all the time, let the kid play in the dirt or something. My siblings and I were raised tough and did not miss much school, my cousins were raised in a more sterile environment and seemed to get sick a lot more.
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