THE USE OF ANTISEPTIC SOAPS AND DISINFECTANTS IN A SEMI-URBAN COMMUNITY IN LAGOS
Background: The use of antiseptic soaps and disinfectant liquids for bathing appears to be a common household practice in Nigeria today. While this practice is presumed to improve cleanliness and prevent infections, there are concerns about the untoward effects of antiseptic agents on the skin microbiome, the immune system, and the environment. Few studies document the prevalence and reasons for the household use of antiseptic soaps and disinfectants in Nigeria.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence, reasons for use, and the source of information that influenced the use of antiseptic soaps and disinfectants among traders in a market in Lagos.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional survey conducted using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. The questions were on demographic data, use, reasons for use, and sources of information on both antiseptic soaps and disinfectant liquids.
Results: A total of 307 traders participated in the study. 67.4% were female, 32.6% were male, and the mean age of participants was 42.7±12.8 years. Fifty-four per cent (54.1%) of study participants bathed with antiseptic soaps, while 43% used disinfectant liquids in their bathwater. The major reasons for use were that it removes germs (62.9%) and prevents skin infections (44.7%). The most common source of information was self, followed by adverts.
Conclusion: Over 50% of the study participants were conscious of hygiene and skin infections. Most participants perceived antiseptic soaps and disinfectants to offer protection against disease-causing germs, and this perception was mainly due to media adverts and personal opinions.
Keywords – Antiseptic liquids, Anti-bacterial soaps, Skin microbiome
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