Papers And Originals

Disinfection of the Skin with Detergent Preparations of Irgasan DP 300 and Other Antiseptics

Br Med J 1974; 4 doi: (Published 16 November 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;4:372
  1. H. A. Lilly,
  2. E. J. L. Lowbury


    An evaluation of the relative effectiveness of 2% hexachlorophane and 0·75% Irgasan DP 300 bar soaps in disinfection of the hands showed that the former caused a significantly larger reduction in natural skin bacteria than the latter after one handwash and after six handwashings, three on each of two successive days. Repeated use of Irgasan DP 300 bar soap caused a significantly greater reduction in skin flora than repeated handwashings with unmedicated bar soap, but a single handwash gave no significant reduction in skin flora compared with a single use of the unmedicated soap.

    In a comparison of a 4% chlorhexidine detergent solution a 3% hexachlorophane detergent cream and a 2% Irgasan DP 300 detergent solution the 4% chlorhexidine detergent gave the largest mean reduction in skin bacteria after one handwash and after six handwashings and 2% Irgasan DP 300 a poor and erratic reduction after a single handwash. After six handwashings all three preparations gave large reductions in skin bacteria. The 2% Irgasan preparation showed some residual activity on the skin after handwashing though less than that with chlorhexidine and with hexachlorophane-chlorocresol detergent preparations.