Hexachlorophane, a phenol derivative with antibacterial properties, has been used in soaps, powders, creams and lotions for over 20 years. In hospital nurseries, its application to the skin of the newborn was followed by a striking reduction in the rate of colonisation and infection of babies by Staphylococcus aureus.1 Recent reports of potential toxicity have led the Committee on Safety of Medicines to recommend that products containing hexachlorophane should be used more cautiously, especially on babies.
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