Antibacterial soap is necessary

How effective is antibacterial soap?

In addition to conventional soaps, washing lotions, soaps, deodorants and other hygiene products labeled “antibacterial” are also available in stores. To kill or contain bacteria and fungi, these products often contain the substances triclosan or triclocarban.

Antibacterial soap no better

Medizin-Transparent examined the evidence on the question of whether washing hands in the household with antibacterial soap can prevent infections better than with conventional soap. Scientific papers from 2008 and earlier were evaluated. The result of these studies: "Antibacterial" hand soaps reduce the risk of infection no better than normal soaps.

Unexplained health risks

At the same time, the experts from Medizin-Transparent point out unexplained risks from Triclosan. The substance not only has antibacterial properties but is also similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. Triclosan is considered harmless if it is only ingested in very small amounts by humans.

Triclosan is not only found in hygiene products, but also in certain cosmetics, textiles and plastics. Therefore, consumers can possibly ingest higher amounts of the substance. What effects this has on health has not yet been investigated.

Scientists also suspect that the massive use of Triclosan can cause antibiotic resistance. This suspicion has not yet been scientifically proven either.

Additional Information:

last updated 02/11/2015
Approved by the health portal editors