In recent years, sales of anti-bacterial soaps made with triclosan have steadily increased. You might be thinking, “Of course! They’re better at removing bacteria and reducing the spread of disease!” Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.
Last year, there was a review in Clinical Infectious Diseases that concluded, after a review of 27 different studies, that soaps that contained the anti-bacterial ingredient triclosan were no more effective than regular soap and water in regards to removing bacteria from the hands or slowing the spread of disease.
The conclusion was that people who washed their hands with anti-bacterial soaps made with triclosan had no fewer bacteria on their hands than people who washed with soap and water and households that used antibacterial hand soaps had just as many instances of colds, flu, skin infections, and gastrointestinal problems as households that just used plain soap and water.
Most experts agree that the best prevention for disease transmission is to practice proper hand-washing techniques with soap and water. This means washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and drying with a towel to further aid in removing bacteria.
So this cold and flu season, make sure you are washing your hands properly and frequently to help prevent the spread of disease.