Antibacterial vs. regular soap

  1. I know this may seem like a crazy question, but does it matter what soap you bathe with? I know antibacterial is used for our hands during work hours(and for some, at home), but I read a few articles stating that as long as we wash our hands regularly, as we should, antibacterial means little. But what about when we bathe?

    I use antibacterail soap for my showers, but I find that it is really harsh to my skin (itchy, dry, etc.). What about products like Dove, or Vaseline Intensive Care, or Ivory? Are these as effective after a long day in "Icky" land?

    Thanks for you feedback!
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Using antibacterial soap in your pits and creases wouldn't be necessary, I wouldn't think.......I have a/b soap at all the sinks for hands, but not in the baths.
  4. by   Diva Nurse Dani
    Thanks!
    I like the way you phrased things
    I'm just tired of itching and looking like I have "cooties" !!
    I have a really good lotion, but in the midwest...winterized skin can be a fate worse than death!!! :lol_hitti
  5. by   TazziRN
    *bowing modestly*


    Thank ya....thank ya ver' much!
  6. by   BSNtobe2009
    For bathing, I use Dial Gold Antibacterial...it was suggested by my dermatologist b/c I started getting adult acne after I turned 30 and it got worse after I had my baby and was showing up EVERYWHERE and was cystic. I use it on my face as well, and exfoliate with a scrub every other day.

    I bathe with that, and use Arbonne skin and body care. Arbonne does not contain mineral oil, petroleum products of any sort, and is 99.9% organic. After a week my skin was perfect and it has stayed that way, but I don't have a choice but to keep up the maintenance on it. If I stop the acne comes back within a few days. I swear by it.

    I discovered most of the lotions contain mineral oil of some level or petroleum products and make your skin feel better but do nothing to heal it.

    I went out of town recently and forgot the body lotion that I normally use and used my friend's, and noticed anything else feels like you have poured liquid plastic on my skin and I couldn't wash it off fast enough.
  7. by   angelcharm
    antibacterial soaps makes my skin dry.. i dont like it..

    i only use mild/hypoallergenic soaps.

    im putting up some links u might be interested..

    numerous studies show that antibacterial soap is no more effective than ordinary soap in cleaning your hands.
    http://www.livescience.com/humanbiol...bacterial.html


    according to the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc), antibacterial soaps are not necessary, but washing your hands thoroughly with ordinary soap and warm water is one of the most effective ways to ward off infection.
    http://aorula.com/2004/09/antibacter...gular-soap.php

    currently, no evidence suggests that use of antibacterial soap containing 0.2% triclosan provides a benefit over plain soap in reducing bacterial counts and rate of infectious symptoms in generally healthy persons in the household setting

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol11no10/04-1276.htm
  8. by   augigi
    However, antibacterial hand gel has been shown to reduce bacterial load when used instead of routine hand washing.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Using antibacterial soap all over is too drying for my skin. I use it on my face if it looks like i'm having a garden of zits ready to pop up.

    I use that clear Dial (i think) in a pump for the bathrooms. I'm not too wild about the bar soap idea for a sink. Besides, the slime it leaves in the dish, yuck.
  10. by   Mistify
    I never use antibacterial soap any where other than work or in public restrooms. I make my own soap and would rather use it any day of the week rather than an antibacterial. Right now I have made up a goat milk and honey bar and green tea bar for face, base castille bars for body, and a oatmeal and honey bar (with course ground oatmeal) or anise and oatmeal bars for everyday hand washing. I learned to make soap as a very young child from my great-grandmother and have been making it for over 30 years now and nothing can compare for how it leaves my skin and I never have a question that I have any "visitors" left behind from work.
  11. by   mom23RN
    We don't use antibacterial soap around here. I have read so much info about how it is not whether it's antibacterial or not... it's how long you actually wask your hands.

    Other things to consider are whether you have city sewer or a septic system. Antibacterial products can wreak havoc on your septic system. They kill all the good bacteria therefore not allowing them to work properly.

    We "just say no" to antibacterial here... although it's getting harder and harder to find stuff that's NOT antibacterial.
  12. by   SOREFEETEMPTYSTOMACH
    Hi! A Few Years Ago, The News Show "60 Minutes"did A Study And Scientifically Determined That The Retail Antimicrobial Soaps Were Effective. Consumer Reports Magazine Determined The Same. They Are Drying, Though. I Keep A Pump Bottle At Home Here But A Working Nurse Would Be Well Advised To Follow Your Employers Guidelines While At Work.
  13. by   Antikigirl
    I have been told and have seen some bad results for using antibacterial soap on certain body parts such as you would for bathing.

    Remember, you have natural flora (benificial bacteria) on your skin that work as a team with your own natural skin defenses. This bacteria is killed off by antibacterial soaps, lotions, gels... Especially in the peri areas! Woman have natural flora there to protect from infections and once gone the chances increase of having UTI or other infections.

    I once explained...yes in my wierd funny way...to some students about the natural flora battle in that region in a way they wouldn't forget...LOL! I said "Imagine you live in a perfect place like that bacteria, you are doing no harm and love your home, and all the sudden some loud nasty people come onto your property and start having a kegger! You would certainaly get them out wouldn't you! But alas, you are sick and dying from antibiotics (or antibacterial topicals) so you can't kick them off the property...and sadly these pests are strong and don't respond to the antibiotic like you...so they increase in numbers, strength, and nastyness. Watch out for those bad bacteria keggers by keeping an eye on antibiotic use, or uses of antibacterial soaps in regions where good bacteria will be weakened."

    I also saw a 20/20 thing where they were testing antibacterial soaps and they tested them on agar plates after washing with these. Can't remember who won (way back when), but then they tested the hands later on and found that the natural flora was gone and new bacteria was in its place...nastier ones! The natural oils, skin defense, moisture and natural flora were harmed and open to nastier bacteria! So not a total win win huh?

    I use the antibacterials at work and bathrooms, and use normal soaps all other times (I am like an above poster...I love the natural soaps with honeys, milks, shea, tea...etc..prrrrrrrr!). I would never use antibacterials on any other part of my body for the reasons I mentioned! No nasty bacterial kegger for me..LOL!!!!!!!!
    Last edit by Antikigirl on Nov 13, '06
  14. by   Bicycleboy
    I read about a study last year that idicated that some bacterial soaps mixed with the chlorine in water forms dioxin. I don't remember much more than that, and did not personally read the study.

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