What You Should Know
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Hibiclens is scientifically known as chlorhexidine. This solution is widely used in most hospitals and other health care facilities. The chemical is known to posses anti-bacterial activity and thus useful in hospitals. Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals frequently wash their hands with Hibiclens. The solution is often used to wipe many inanimate objects in the hospital environment. In the emergency room, this solution is used to treat cuts, bruises, abrasions, minor burns and lacerations. The solution has no other cosmetic benefit and may be used in the home as an alternative to hydrogen peroxide or alcohol as an anti-septic.
Hibiclens is generally used to cleanse the hands and the body, but it should not be used around the eyes, nose or mouth. Often the solution is used to cleanse the skin of patients who are about to undergo surgery. Dental rinses using chlorhexidine are available. However, the concentration of chlorhexidine is quite low. Prior to starting an intravenous drop, the nurse will often rinse the skin with Hibiclens. Hibiclens is also used as a wipe to cleanse the perineum prior to delivery.
Hibiclens is an effective solution to kill germs but routine use can cause excessive dryness of the hands. In addition, once the dryness sets in most individuals will develop redness and itching. In the rare individual who is allergic to Hibiclens, there may be development of hives. All individuals who routinely use Hibiclens should always use a moisturizer afterwards to prevent the excessive dryness. Hibiclens is also widely used in veterinary medicine to clean the skin of animals that require surgery or have minor abrasions. For health care professionals who are allergic to iodine, Hibiclens offers an alternative as a skin wash prior to surgery
Hibiclens contains Chlorhexidine.
- Relatively cheap.
- Very effective anti-bacterial.
- Established product.
- Lots of clinical studies to reveal efficacy.
- Widely available online.
- Looks like a great product, but is not an anti-aging treatment at all.
- Frequent use could lead to chronic dry skin.
The Bottom Line
Chlorhexidine is widely available as an ingredient in a variety of personal care products like mouth washes, acne scrubs and skin cleansers. In the hospital, formulations of chlorhexidine are sold under the name Hibiclens but other brand names of the same product include Peridex, Periogard or Chlorohex. The chemical is very effective as an anti-bacterial and does an effective job when used regularly. The product is not designed for the treatment of any other cosmetic skin condition. Hibiclens does not require a prescription for use. Even though the solution is effective, it is best limited for hospital use. In the home, the use of Hibiclens is limited. Plus, regular use of this chemical is known to cause severe dryness and thus, a moisturizer should be used in combination.