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Antibacterial soap is a detergent containing an antiseptic agent in a concentration sufficient to reduce or inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the skin.
Antiseptic agent - An antibacterial agent that reduces or inhibits the growth of microorganisms living on tissues. For example, alcohols, chlorhexidine gluconate, chlorine derivatives, iodine, chloroxylenol (PCMX), quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC) and triclosan.
Detergent (detergent) - compounds that have a cleaning effect. The detergent properties of such compounds are due to their structure, namely, the presence of a hydrophobic, lipophilic part of the molecule. All detergents can be divided into four groups of surfactants: anionic, cationic, amphoteric and nonionic. Products used in medicine for both simple and antiseptic hand washing are usually combinations of different types of detergents.
Antibacterial soap myths
There is no place for microbes in the body! We traditionally perceive microbes as something that causes us irreparable harm. However, in our body, among others, more than 500 species of bacteria live, which perform an exclusively protective function! We have a protective film of microorganisms in the mouth, on the mucous membrane of our internal organs, on the skin. It is these bacteria that attack the harmful substances that enter the body. In addition, there are microbes in the human body that are involved in the regulation of sex hormones, as well as microbes that are responsible for attractiveness to the opposite sex.
Microbes are too good for us to kill them all. For example, bacteria in the intestines are involved in the processes that regulate digestion. It has also long been known that such bacteria suppress pathogenic microorganisms: salmonella, staphylococcus, proteus, pathogenic eshechiria and dangerous candida fungi. This is not a complete list of all the beneficial activities of microorganisms in the intestine.
The constant use of antibacterial soaps is good for the skin. Our skin needs a natural microbial background to function properly. The beneficial microflora forms a protective shell on the skin, preventing the entry of harmful microorganisms. Unfortunately, in many people, the natural microbial background is disturbed. But why? The main reason is the unreasonably frequent use of antibacterial soap, because it also destroys beneficial microbes. What's more, scientists say that due to the constant action of the antibacterial soap, the bacteria themselves can begin to resist antibiotics! For example, staphylococcus aureus will stop responding to a powerful weapon like vancomycin. In addition, life in sterile conditions is hazardous to health. She, for example, can provoke allergies. However, it must be said that the use of such soap is fully justified in case of abrasions, scratches or cuts. In other words, antibacterial soap should not be considered as a product for constant use! Especially when we are talking about a face. It is advisable to take such soap with you, for example, to a summer cottage, where contact with the ground will provoke the formation of many harmful bacteria.
Antibacterial soap kills germs as it contains bleach. Not at all. Neither bleach nor carbolic acid provides antibacterial action in soap. The main active ingredient is triclosan. This same triclosan can cause some mutations in a number of bacteria. However, at the moment, some studies have been carried out to prove the unfoundedness of such fears.
I can get warts from this soap. When using antibacterial soaps, we will certainly upset the bacterial balance of the skin. This means that we open up space for the growth of viruses and fungi, which can lead to the formation of lichens, warts, etc. However, this happens quite rarely.
Everything is good in moderation. Absolute truth. Excessive concern for the sterility of our body (by the way, complete sterility still cannot be achieved, more on that below) will lead to the fact that the natural microflora is disrupted, which means that various diseases will appear. However, the complete absence of such care will lead to the same.
There is no such agent that can completely destroy all bacteria. Even if we wash our palm hundreds of times, the skin on it in any case will not become sterile: on the cleanest hands there are 100 microorganisms per 1 sq. see. And if we decide after that to shake someone's hand, then we will have to bitterly regret the time spent on washing our hands: with a handshake we will get 16 million bacteria.
Our knowledge of microbes is extremely scarce. The history of microbiology is about a hundred years old, but our level of knowledge about microorganisms is negligible. We know only 0.4% of the actual number of microbes that inhabit our planet. It is possible that in the near future we will witness discoveries that allow us to look at familiar things in a new way.