As part of the improvements in hospitals to minimize the rate of healthcare acquired infections affecting patients, healthcare workers have been told to frequently wash their hands. One downside is an increase in skin conditions.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are now questioning the efficacy and safety of antibacterial soaps, suggesting that they may not kill as many germs as previously thought, and may even pose some health risks to consumers.
There is a commonly held assumption that hand washing, also known as 'proper hygiene,' prevents the spread of respiratory illnesses such as influenza. New research on the topic shows that hand washing is not an effective tool.