What is it?
Chlorhexidine is used primarily as an antibacterial cleanser in the medical setting. It is also used as a preservative in cosmetics and
personal care products and has the following applications.
How can I avoid it?
Patients allergic or photoallergic to chlorhexidine should be instructed to avoid all the chemically related chlorhexidines listed above
by carefully reading the labels of liquid hand cleansers and the other products listed. In addition, such individuals should make all
their health care workers aware of their allergy, since chlorhexidine is frequently used to cleanse the skin and internal sites during
minor and major surgical and dental procedures.
Skin contact with Chlorhexidine is required for it to cause a rash. Discontinuation of exposure to products containing Chlorhexidine
should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. By law, all products made in the US for topical use have the
ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of your skin care products for this
ingredient. If there is no information, ask your pharmacist or call the company directly. At work, request a material safety data sheet
(MSDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.
- Skin Care Products / Cosmetics
- Deodorants / antiperspirants
- Sprays, gels, tonics and lotions
- Soaps / Cleansers
- Mouthwash / oral rinse
- Eye drops and contact lens care products
- Surgical-scrub cleanser
- Wound cleanser
- Veterinary uses:
- Pet shampoo
- Skin treatment
- Teat dips
- Wound disinfectant
Other names for chlorhexidine digluconate:
- 11’-Hexamethylenebis(5-[p-chlorophenyl]biguanide) digluconate
- Chlorasept 2000
- Chlorhexidine diacetate (acetate)
- Chlorhexidine digluconate (gluconate)
- Chlorhexidine dihydrochloride