Problems with soap

  1. Does anyone else have this problem with the new antimicrobial soaps that the hospitals are currently using? I work in one of the critical care units at my hospital and work 12 hour shifts, though only part time. It seems whenever I work a particularly difficult case--when I'm washing my hands q5mins--or when I've worked two 12's in a row, my hands break out in a nasty rash that itches so bad I break the skin with scratching. I only worked one 12hour shift in the past two days, and this morning my hands are all broken out even after using Neosporin cream and an OTC cortisone cream. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   disher
    The only way to know what you are reacting to is have a patch test. Report your reaction to your occupational health nurse.
    Get a copy of the MSDS information sheet of the antimicrobial soap, also get MSDS info on any other products you have used on your hands, take this information with you to the dermatologist.
    I speak from experience, I developed allergic contact dermatitis on my hands last year. (I am allergic to formeldehyde a preservative commonly found in soaps and lotions).
    I use Aveeno bar soap to wash my hands at work and at home and my hands have been fine since. Good luck, I know how uncomfortable it is to have an itchy rash on your hands.
  4. by   wildhoney
    I have the same problem on my hands. I can't use anything OTC and must use some Triamcinolone Acetonide (TAC) to control it.

    I must avoid soap on most of my body, using only Dove on my privates. : ) I must avoid those wonderful 'hot' soaks in the tub also. : (

    My doctor recommends Cetaphil products.
  5. by   disher
    Wildhoney, I wonder if your are allergic to formeldehyde... Dove unscented and Aveeno soap are the only ones on the market that do not contain formeldehyde preservative in them.
    Just out of curiousity what do you use to wash your hands at work?
  6. by   MitziK
    Don't know if this helps or not but if I don't dry my hands extremely well and put on gloves I will break out every time.

    At home I can't use any of the Grease Dissolving Dish soaps like Dawn, it tears my hands up.

    At work we are switching to a new soap that has Aloe Vera in it so heres hoping it's better. I don't know the name of the current one but it's a foam that you have to wet your hands first before using it.
  7. by   ratchit
    I had the same problem with the "gentle lotion" soap at one place I worked at. I changed to using the CHG soap (dynahex, the clear stuff used to prep open heart patients and on some types of isolation patients) and haven't had problems since.

    Also important: dry your hands completely and use lotion on your days off. The Aveeno stuff is great.
  8. by   RNPD
    Are you sure it's the soap? After about 8 years of working, I suddenly developed the same itchy, cracking, weepy skin on my hands. Turns out it is a latex sensitivity-which can be a precursor to an allergy. As soon as my hospital became "latex-free" the problems stopped.
  9. by   wildhoney
    Originally posted by disher
    Wildhoney, I wonder if your are allergic to formeldehyde... Dove unscented and Aveeno soap are the only ones on the market that do not contain formeldehyde preservative in them.
    Just out of curiousity what do you use to wash your hands at work?

    Some antimicrobial soap, I think it's called "Steris." The formulin I work with doesn't help either because I always get it all over me ...Histology.
    Last edit by wildhoney on Mar 12, '02
  10. by   Paprikat
    At my job, they just bought a new antimicrobial soap. Since then, five of us has developed ?allergic reaction to it. My hands got this bumpy raised itchy rash that lasted my two days off. I am wondering what the active ingredient is and no one seems to know. I have bought my own soap to use there.....

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