In Vitro Skin Comparison of Alcohol and Non-Alcohol Hand Sanitizers

      Alcohol hand sanitizers are designed to be safe, fast-acting and effective. Their use in U.S. hospitals has increased dramatically in the past thirty years. Yet, flammability of alcohol solutions and misconceptions about skin drying still lead to questions from healthcare workers about the use of alcohol hand sanitizers. Alcohol-free hand sanitizers, often containing benzalkonium chloride, continue to be marketed to consumers in the retail environment and, in some instances, to healthcare personnel. We used a pigskin model to determine if hand sanitizers containing benzalkonium chloride were effective against Serratia marcescens and warrant evaluation for use in the healthcare environment.
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