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Antimicrobial Active Clothes Display No Adverse Effects on the Ecological Balance of the Healthy Human Skin Microflora

By Dirk Hoefer and Timo R. Hammer


The progressive public use of antimicrobial clothes has raised issues concerning skin health. A placebo-controlled side-to-side study was run with antimicrobial clothes versus fabrics of similar structure but minus the antimicrobial activity, to evaluate possible adverse effects on the healthy skin microflora. Sixty volunteers were enrolled. Each participant received a set of form-fitting T-shirts constructed in 2 halves: an antibacterial half, displaying activities of 3–5 log-step reductions due to silver-finishes or silver-loaded fibres and a nonantibacterial control side. The microflora of the scapular skin was analyzed weekly for opportunistic and pathogenic microorganisms over six weeks. The antibacterial halves did not disturb the microflora in number or composition, whereas a silver-containing deodorant displayed a short-term disturbance. Furthermore, parameters of skin morphology and function (TEWL, pH, moisture) did not show any significant shifts. In summary, antimicrobial clothes did not show adverse effects on the ecological balance of the healthy skin microflora

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: International Scholarly Research Network
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

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