This study was designed to assess the ability of 2 skin cleaning procedures to remove transient microbial flora from the skin.
The study is a direct comparison of 2 washing procedures: soap and water washing versus cleansing with a no-rinse cleanser.
SETTING AND SUBJECTS
The trial was performed at the research facilities of the Department of Clinical Bacteriology at the University of Göteborg. Forty-five healthy adult volunteers were recruited to participate in the study.
A solution of test bacteria, either Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus, was applied to both forearms of the test subject. After a 15-minute incubation period, one arm was cleaned using soap and water and the other arm was cleaned with no-rinse cleanser. Both the arms were dried with a disposable cloth. The amount of residual bacteria on the skin was assessed using contact agar plates.
Both methods of cleaning resulted in 4-to 5-fold log reductions in bacterial count. The number of residual bacteria after both procedures ranged from 1 to 4 colony-forming units/cm2 after washing. The amount of residual bacteria was comparable for both washing procedures.
Both washing procedures resulted in a low level of residual bacteria on the skin. No-rinse cleansers can be safely used as an alternative to soap and water washing of fragile skin.