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  • Brindley Brooks

Over Washing & the Overuse of Antibacterial Products

HS is not an infectious disease. Our abscesses do not always contain harmful bacteria and are not always infected, so the use of antibacterial products for our abscesses is not always necessary. The overuse of antibacterial products, cleansers, soaps, antiseptics, antibiotic creams, especially those that contain triclosan, don’t differentiate between good and bad bacteria; they are designed to kill them all.

When used excessively, antibacterial products are not good for HS or our overall well being. Our skin is colonized by millions and millions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The “good” bacteria has a fundamental role. You do not want to ruin that skin microbiota (skin Flora) that resides on our skin, underneath our skin, and even in our hair follicles as it can be a precious protection that contributes to our immune defenses. A low diversification in the bacterial ecosystem can erase cutaneous reactivity and sensitivity, and even provoke pathological conditions such as: Dermatitis, acne, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin conditions. Overuse of antibacterial soaps have the potential to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria and using antibacterial chemicals to kill bacteria can actually make them stronger over time, also making the bacteria itself harder to kill.

The skin biome is the ecosystem of microorganisms that play a crucial role in how our skin looks, feels, and acts. As we know, our skin has a large impact on our overall health. A healthy microbiome can protect against skin infection by preventing the overgrowth of pathogenic organisms, and the skin microbiome can also fight against external and environmental factors as well. It can also help keep inflammation in check, promote wound healing, and act as a barrier to some allergens and environmental toxins. When the bacteria are exposed to overuse of antibacterial products especially, triclosan, they can undergo genetic mutations. These same mutations not only protect them from triclosan (or whatever other antibacterial product you are using), but can make them more difficult to kill with antibiotics.

Try using natural antibacterial products as opposed to over the counter antibacterial products, or just regular unscented soap for sensitive skin.

This is an awareness article for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider.

Written by Denise Panter-Fixsen

Edited by Brindley Kons


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