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What is Antibacterial Foam?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Antibacterial foam is a foaming cleanser which contains antibacterial ingredients. It is classically stocked in a foaming soap dispenser which is designed to accommodate the unique needs of foaming cleansers. Many drug stores carry antibacterial foam and related cleansers for consumers, and they can also be purchased from medical suppliers. Bulk dispensers are available for locations like public bathrooms and examination rooms.

People like to use foaming cleansers because less soap is required for each cleansing, reducing costs. Some people also enjoy the texture and feel of foaming soap, along with the reduction in water usage which usually accompanies the use of a foaming cleanser. To use a foaming cleanser, someone dispenses the soap onto hands which may be moist or dry, and then rubs the hands briskly, following with a rinse in hot water which should last at least 30 seconds to remove all soap residue.

In the case of antibacterial foam, the soap provides some protection from bacteria in addition to acting as a cleanser. The efficacy of the soap can vary, depending on the ingredients used and whether or not it is utilized correctly. Some products can remove up to 99% of bacteria. Antibacterial foams can be formulated for the hands or the face, with some soaps being used on the entire body.

Using an antibacterial soap can reduce the spread of bacteria in a shared environment. In a school, for example, encouraging children to wash their hands with antibacterial soaps on a regular basis can prevent the transmission of colds and infections. Antibacterial foam is often ideally suited to shared spaces like schools, offices, and hospitals because it is easy to use properly, and it has a relatively low cost when compared to liquid soaps.

There are some cautions involved in the use of antibacterial products. Excessive use of such products can contribute to the development of organisms which are capable of resisting antibiotics and other products which are designed to eliminate bacteria. The foam cleanser may kill off the majority of bacteria, but it leaves the strong ones behind, and these bacteria will quickly take advantage of the situation to multiply. Switching brands regularly can reduce the development of resistance to antibacterial products, as can limiting the use of such products to environments where they are really needed. In a shared household, for example, people already share germs, so an antibacterial product is not really necessary as long as people wash their hands well with regular soap and hot water.

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