Triclosan or chlorhexidine: Which better prevents bacteria recolonization?

While both triclosan and chlorhexidine are antiseptics, it wasn't previously known which was more effective over a long period of time. A study recently published in the American Journal of Infection Control set out to answer that question.

Researchers recruited 135 volunteers at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico for the study. Each volunteer had four spots designated on his or her inner arm: an unscrubbed control area, an area scrubbed with water, an area scrubbed with triclosan and an area scrubbed with chlorhexidine. Researchers cultured each area at zero, three and 24 hours.

They found that at 24 hours, the area scrubbed with chlorhexidine had less bacteria than the areas scrubbed with water or triclosan.

"Chlorhexidine is the best antiseptic option when a prolonged antiseptic effect is needed; for instance, when implanting medical devices or performing surgical procedures," the authors concluded.

More articles on chlorhexidine:
CDC prevention interventions prove effective in long-term reduction of bloodstream infections, research shows
Can chlorhexidine wipes prevent drug-resistant HAIs in the ICU?
Chlorhexidine skin prep beats iodine in SSI prevention study 

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