Ask Dr. Swanson: Antibacterial soap

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson explains the FDA ban on antibacterial soap.

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Children’s hospital breaks down the new FDA ban on antibiotic soap and shares practical guidelines for when to integrate antibiotics into your life – and when not to.

Overview of the FDA Ruling

  • Ban on 19 chemicals used in antibiotic soap
  • Soap makers couldn’t prove antibiotics in soap were more effective
  • More antibiotics in the environment increase “superbugs”
  • Soap makers: one year to comply or take products off market

Antibiotic Statistics

  • Up to 50 percent of antibiotics prescribed to people are not needed or not optimally effective
  • Annually, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics
  • 23,000 deaths occur each year due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Recommendations for families

  • Continue washing with plain old soap and water
  • Continue to use hand sanitizers and/or antibacterial wipes without fear
  • Only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary for the shortest duration

Helpful Resources

Copyright 2016 KING


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