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Hibiclens: Antiseptic Skin Cleanser


Hibiclens soap is an antiseptic, antimicrobial skin cleanser used by medical professionals before surgical procedures and by patients before a surgical procedure. This special soap cleans the surgeon’s own skin as well as their patients’. Germs are killed on contact, with continuous effectiveness for up to 24 hours. It is essential that all germs are eradicated on the skin surfaces of surgeons, operating room attendants, and the patient in order to help prevent postoperative infections.

The benefits of Hibiclens soap include:

  • Antiseptic activity plus a persistent, long-lasting antimicrobial effect
  • Rapid bactericidal activity, fighting a range of microorganisms
  • Ideal for skin preparation pre-surgery and as a surgical scrub
  • Kills fungi, viruses and bacteria
  • Continues to kill germs for up to 24 hours after use
  • Gentle on the skin of both healthcare professionals and patients, even when used frequently

We are all familiar with the images of surgeons scrubbing all the way up to their elbows before going into an operating room. This meticulous cleaning process is required to prevent and control infection in surgery, even with the use of sterile gloves.

Surgical centers and hospitals take immaculate care to meet the standards required for disinfection within the entire facility. Hibiclens solution ensures high-quality sanitation is implemented throughout this process.

Pre-Operation Instructions for Healthcare Professionals

Before any medical or surgical procedure, it is recommended that healthcare professionals wash their hands with Hibiclens antiseptic solution. The cleanser is a 4% chlorhexidine gluconate soap solution designed to protect the area from germs for up to 24 hours, controlling the spread of infection and skin antisepsis.

With other antibacterial cleansers or regular soap, any new contact with a germ infested surface offers no additional germ control protection and invites contamination. Hibiclens surgical hand scrub not only kills the germs on the skin on contact, but it provides a layer of protection for up to a full day, greatly reducing the chances of bacterial, fungal and viral infections. This resiliency and long lasting effectiveness is the reason Hibiclens has been an industry leader for over 40 years.

Before and after surgery, it is also recommended that the skin of the patient be washed using Hibiclens. Urinary catheter or blood collection sites are routinely disinfected using hibiclens chlorhexidine gluconate solution. It is also effectively used to prevent bacterial infection on burns.

Healthcare professionals around the country find that Hibiclens is gentle enough for patients to use up to several times a day, without negative effects.

When to Use Hibiclens Skin Cleanser

Hibiclens has many uses within a hospital or surgical facility. The gentle skin-cleanser base features a 4% chlorhexidine soap solution that is ideal for:

  • Horizontal infection prevention with daily bed baths
  • Prevention of surgical site infections with pre and post-operative showers
  • Pre-surgical hand sanitation
  • Facility hand wash
  • Skin preparation
  • Pre-Operative Instructions for Patients at Home

Human skin is a source of germs that could cause an infection while healing from surgery. By cleaning your skin before your surgery with an antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial cleanser you can decrease the likelihood you will get an infection.

It used to be that patients were admitted into the hospital early so that hospital staff could extensively prep them for surgery. Nurses would prepare the surgical site, and patients would take showers with special soaps. In order to reduce the lengths of hospital stays, and the associated expenses, patients now arrive on the same day as their procedure is scheduled. This means that this pre-operative prep work will be performed by the patient, before arriving at the hospital.

Patients are usually advised to bathe or shower using Hibiclens soap two days before their procedure, and then to wash again on the night or morning before their surgery.

The entire body must be washed, except for the face. It is important to thoroughly clean the surgical site, but the entire body needs to be cleaned as an additional precaution.

Bathing with Hibiclens serves three primary purposes:

  • Cleans the skin, removing microorganisms, soil, and dirt
  • Reduces the microbes on the surface of the skin
  • Prevents the remaining microbes from returning or multiplying

If the surgery is planned for your head or scalp area, Hibiclens is sometimes used as a shampoo. Be very careful not to get the soap in your eyes. Check with your doctor before using Hibiclens as a shampoo.

Clean, freshly-washed cloths and towels must be used for the two showers. A fresh, laundered set of clothing needs to be worn after the bathing routine.

Often patients have questions when their doctor recommends Hibiclens before their surgical procedure, such as:

Can Hibiclens be used during pregnancy?

Yes, Hibiclens is approved to be used while pregnant. You may be instructed to use the disinfectant soap for a scheduled surgery during your pregnancy. Follow the instructions from your physician or healthcare provider.

Can Hibiclens be used on open wounds?

No. Only use it on your skin. Never apply this medicated soap to open wounds such as cuts or scrapes. Talk to your doctor about the best method for treating an open wound, and consider using an adaptic dressing to minimize pain caused by changing bandages.

Can Hibiclens cause a rash?

On rare occasions, chlorhexidine can cause an allergic reaction. This could be extremely serious. Seek immediate emergency medical attention if you experience a severe skin rash, hives, difficulty breathing, cold sweats, or swelling of your face, lips, or tongue.

Steps for Bathing Use – What is a Hibiclens shower?

  • Use your normal soap and shampoo to wash your face, hair and body. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Step out of the bath or shower. Put a quarter-sized drop of Hibiclens on a clean, wet cloth.
  • Apply the liquid to your body, except on your face and genitals. Do not apply to your hair unless you are preparing for surgery on your scalp and your doctor has advised you to do so.
  • Keep rubbing the cloth over your body for three minutes while you stand outside the shower or bath.
  • Get back under the warm water and rinse off completely.
  • Pat dry with a clean towel. Dress in clean clothes. The night before your surgery, be sure to sleep on clean sheets, too.
  • For these few days before your surgery, pay special attention to your hand hygiene. Wash your hands several times a day using the Hibiclens soap. Count to 100 each time to be sure you kill all the germs.

Sanitary Precautions:

  • Never use your normal soap after you wash with Hibiclens.
  • Never apply lotions, powder, deodorant, or perfume.
  • Never shave your legs, or any other area below your neck on the night before or on the day of your surgery. You can shave your face.

By taking care of yourself before you arrive at the hospital you can reduce the chances of post-operative infection and aid in the recovery from your surgery. This is one of the ways you can take charge of your personal health care.

Why the Use of Hibiclens is Necessary for Hospitals and Surgical Centers

Reducing In-Patient Infection Risk

Healthcare acquired infections are a serious problem in hospitals and surgical centers. Patient infection rates are falling, but still one in every 25 patients in a hospital or surgical center will deal with a healthcare-acquired infection as a direct result of their stay. Infections like C. difficile require specific and deliberate actions to avoid and eliminate within the facilities.

The risk of infection can be significantly reduced throughout the facility by using Hibiclens soap as a skin cleanser and disinfectant solvent for patients, and healthcare providers.

Studies have shown significant drops in C. difficile infection rates among those patients being bathed frequently with Hibiclens soap. Importantly, the rate of infections increased again after the cleansing routine was stopped.

Overall Facility Use of Hibiclens Antibacterial Soap

Hibiclens skin cleanser solvent is so gentle for use on the skin that it is not just used for patient bathing and pre-operative care. Facilities conscious of the dangers of healthcare-acquired infections are replacing their standard liquid soaps throughout their facility with Hibiclens or Hibiclens wipes. This provides a consistent and improved quality of hand cleanser in washrooms, lunch rooms, cafeterias, locker rooms, and other non-medical areas in the buildings.

With increasing antibiotic resistant threats, proactive action in the prevention of infections is more important than ever before. This antimicrobial skin cleanser helps reduce infection risk, which decreases the necessity of later antibiotic medical interventions.

Reduced Facility Infection Rates

High infection rates decrease facility profitability. Clinical studies have shown that Hibiclens soap solution helps to reduce those facility infection rates.

Extensive peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that daily patient bathing with the 4% chlorhexidine gluconate soap significantly reduces the following infection rates:

  • Primary bloodstream infections reduced by 61%
  • C. difficile infections reduced by 70%
  • Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) reduced by 50%
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) decreased by 32%

Hibiclens kills the pathogens on contact and washes an area completely clean. A protective layer of CHG is left on the skin, with no sticky residue. It is this protective layer that continues to kill more than 99% of pathogens for up to an additional 24 hours. This creates a cumulative effect. Daily patient baths mean that repeated uses reduce the chance of infection even further. Most importantly, Hibiclens skin cleanser is easily incorporated into any patient’s normal bathing routine.

Topical Treatment of Skin Infections

Hibiclens is not intended to be used as a treatment for existing skin infections. The antiseptic activity and persistence prevent a range of different microorganisms. The cleanser is designed to help reduce the level of bacteria, viruses or fungi like candida that could potentially cause diseases. By preventing skin infections, Hibiclens reduces the risk of infection, but it is not designed to directly treat infections.

Additional Information for Healthcare Professionals

Mölnlycke Health Care manufactures Hibiclens. Mölnlycke is a world-leading medical products and solutions company that equips healthcare professionals to achieve the best patient, clinical and economic outcomes. Hibiclens has been extensively researched. Additional product and research information can be found on the Mölnlycke Health Care web site.

Is Hibiclens Available In Your Facility?

Germs and infections are a serious, ongoing concern of medical center professionals everywhere. Patient care, surgical outcomes and profitability all suffer when infections occur. By placing Hibiclens solution at every sink, shower and bedside, the medical facility is proactively preventing healthcare-acquired infections.

Hibiclens Available Sizes and Quantities

Hibiclens is available in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of medical professionals and patients.

  • 15 mL Packets: 400 per case
  • 4 oz. Bottle: 48 per case
  • 8 oz. Bottle: 24 per case
  • 16 oz. Bottle with a foaming pump: 12 per case
  • 32 oz. Bottle: 12 per case
  • 1 Gallon Bottle: 4 per case

Hibiclens is available through  USAMedicalSurgical.com. To safeguard your facility and minimize the risk of infections, contact us today to speak with a representative. Call 1-866-561-2380 or Email us.