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Health-care professionals use hexachlorophene as a preoperative hand scrub for preventing the spread of cutaneous microorganisms from forearms and hands during surgery. Food handlers and other personnel who have a possibility of spreading infections from their hands can also use Hexachlorophene as a disinfectant. Hexachlorophene controls gram-positive infections where other infection control methods have not succeeded. As a topical antibacterial cleanser, Hexachlorophene works in a similar manner as a detergent to cleanse the skin and stop the growth of some bacteria. Hexachlorophene is a skin cleanser that kills bacteria like Staph and helps to prevent the passage of such bacteria to others.
- Preoperative prep
Dosage of Hexachlorophene depends on the individual and the condition being treated. Hexachlorophene should be used as instructed by a medical professional and is only recommended for topical use. Below you will find a typical dosage of Hexachlorophene.
- For adults, the hands and forearms should be wet with water before 5mL (approximately) of emulsion is applied onto the hands and rubbed by adding small portions of water. The sud should be spread over the hands and forearms and scrubbed well using a wet brush for a period of 3 minutes with much attention being given to the nails and interdigital spaces. After scrubbing, the hands and forearms should be thoroughly rinsed with running water. A second 5mL should be applied and scrubbed for 3 minutes. The hands and forearms should be thoroughly rinsed with running water and dried.
- As an antiseptic skin cleanser, 5mL should be applied into the palm and applied to the area that needs cleansing. Thorough rinsing is needed after each washing
Hexachlorophene Side Effects
Hexachlorophene can cause some side effects, and patients should be wary of side effects that become persistent or worsen. Talk to your doctor if any side effects become worrisome. Below you will find a list of side effects associated with Hexachlorophene. Note that not all possible side effects are listed here. Common Hexachlorophene side effects
- Swelling of the skin
- Skin redness
- Mild scaling
- Skin sensitivity to light
Serious Hexachlorophene side effects
- Irritable behavior
- Severe allergic reactions (tightness of chest, difficulty breathing, hives, rash, swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth, and face)
- Mental/mood changes (extreme sleepiness, agitation)
- Skin infections
- Difficulty moving/walking
- Muscle spasms
- Stiff muscles
Like any drug, Hexachlorophene may interact with other drugs and substances. Drug interactions can change how Hexachlorophene work or increase the risk for serious side effects. Before using Hexachlorophene, one should inform the doctor about the use of any other topical drug. Due to the topical nature of Hexachlorophene, no drug interactions have been reported. However, one should ensure that they inform the doctor about the usage of any other drug, especially a hand disinfectant or other topical medications.