FDA Issues Warning on Antibacterial Soap

The doctors at Dawson Dermatology have always warned that antibacterial soaps can be irritating to your skin. Now the FDA has issued a warning on all antibacterial soaps. Here is a brief recap of the consumer update.

The warning is specifically against antibacterial products containing triclosan. Triclosan has not been proven to be any more effective at preventing illness than plain soap and water. Additionally, use of these products over a long time has raised the question of potential negative effects on your health, particularly effects on one's thyroid. Products containing Triclosan will eventually be removed from store shelves.

The warning doesn’t yet apply to three chemicals (benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol). Manufacturers are developing and planning to submit new safety and effectiveness data for these ingredients. These ingredients can still be irritating to the skin and Dawson Dermatology recommends you not use these products except under special circumstances.

This rule doesn’t apply to hand sanitizers. The active ingredients in hand sanitizers are generally recognized as safe and effective to reduce bacteria on skin.

Click here to view the entire FDA consumer update on antibacterial soaps.

Click here to download the update in PDF format.