Is antibacterial soap just a fad or does it actually work?

When you go to the supermarket these days and look at the cleaning products for sale, the majority of bottles are plastered with ‘antibacterial’ stickers.

But does antibacterial soap really work? And is it really more hygienic?

About 75 per cent of liquid soaps and 30 per cent of bar soaps are using antibacterial agents.

But according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, antibacterial agents in soap are not necessary.

They claim this is because the antibacterial element in soap needs to be left on the hands for at least two minutes to work, while the majority of people do not follow the required time.

Also, the widespread use of antibacterial soap in soap dispensers in public washrooms or simply in the home is reducing the effectiveness of the antibacterial agents because bacteria develop resistance or develop into new strains.

These products also destroy any beneficial bacteria that also help protect us against more harmful strains.

Furthermore, antibacterial soaps cannot protect people from viral infections.

So what can people do to ward off infections as the cold and flu season grips the country?

The tried and tested method of frequent hand washing, scrubbing hands for 20 seconds and ensuring they are thoroughly dry remains the best way to stay healthy.