BACKGROUND: Alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is recommended for hand hygiene, and application on dry skin is generally well tolerated. However, hydration of the skin may lead to increased susceptibility to ABHR.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate if increased skin hydration changes skin barrier response to ABHR, as compared to application on dry skin.
METHODS: Twenty healthy volunteers participated in a 3-day experimental setup. Intervention areas on the forearms were exposed to either water immersion or occlusion followed by repeated exposures to ABHR. Skin barrier function was assessed by measurement of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), electrical conductance, pH, and erythema at baseline and day 3.
RESULTS: The area exposed to water immersion preceding ABHR showed a significant increase in TEWL from baseline to day 3 (P = .04), and for the occluded area the same trend was found (P = .11), with an additional decrease in electrical conductance (P = .03). No significant differences were found for the control area. The assessments did not differ significantly between intervention and control sites.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that extensive skin hydration may lead to increased susceptibility to ABHR. Further evaluation of this observation is important, since ABHRs are widely used, particularly among health care workers in whom hand eczema is a huge problem.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2020|