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Author: Kampf, G. / Muscatiello, M. (2003) Source: Journal of Hospital Infection 2003; 55: 295-298


Kampf, G. / Muscatiello, M. (2003)

Dermal tolerance of Sterillium, a propanol-based hand rub

Background: Occupational contact dermatitis is one of the main reasons for insufficient compliance in hand hygiene. Frequent hand washing with antiseptic soaps is often identified as cause of skin problems. Alcohol-based hand rubs possess better skin tolerability. However, there are often concerns that the alcohol in these products might damage the skin.

Methods: The study separated into two phases examined the skin compatibility of the hand disinfectant Sterillium. During the first three-week study period, Sterillium was applied under an occlusive patch on three predefined days per week (total of nine applications) to skin areas on the back of the test persons. The 55 test subjects removed the patch themselves 24 or 48 hours before application of the next patch. Before each application of the occlusive patch with Sterillium, the respective skin area was examined. After a two-week rest period, skin treatment was repeated on skin areas not treated before. This time, an employee removed the patch 24 hours after application. The skin areas concerned were examined for skin reactions immediately after patch removal, and 48 and 72 hours later.

Results: During the first phase, two of the 55 test subjects had a barely perceptible minimal erythema at one of nine time points. None of the other test participants had a skin reaction. During the second study period, all test subjects showed no perceptible skin reaction or change 24, 48 and 72 hours after the application of the disinfectant.

Conclusions: The study showed that Sterillium has no clinically relevant potential for dermal irritation and sensitisation. According to the authors, the very good skin compatibility of Sterillium can contribute to enhanced compliance in hand hygiene.

Journal of Hospital Infection 2003; 55: 295-298

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