Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grappling with Hibiclens Use

I remember when I didn't think about germs. I knew what they were, was aware of infectious diseases, could even identify a few under a microscope, but I didn't think about them much. Then I took Introduction to Epidemiology and my world changed. I became aware of ping-pong gonorrhea and fecal-oral diseases. The final nail in the coffin came when I woke up the morning of my 25th birthday and realized I had picked up viral conjunctivitis from a family member. If you haven't had it, it's like the regular pinkeye, but on steroids. I avoided mirrors and was quarantined for two weeks. I dare you to do an image search...I had the bubbly kind.

And yet, somehow, I've ended up in the high-contact, high-critter-count world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When I started, I immediately stocked up on suspension foam, anti-bacterial soap, band aids, hand sanitizer and my beloved Hibiclens. I even started rinsing my mouth guard in mouthwash. (...ok...that's just because it's a nice little surprise before training.) I was (and am) most scared of MRSA, a nasty version of staph that came about after decades of the use of antibiotics. At first, no one knew that the bacteria would evolve. I, however, can't claim ignorance. Though I'm not on the clinical side, I get a regular look at the treatment regimens of patients and still subscribe to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. No excuses.

Georgette's entry on cleanliness got me thinking. So I'm contemplating cutting back on my use of Hibiclens to cuts and scrapes. I only use it on non-gi-covered areas after training and sometimes laundry (I've been a bit obsessed with clean sheets as of late), but I'm still not sure how I feel about that. Rolling with stinky people does worry me, but I'll continue to take my usual precautions, and switch to a bag that I can wash right after I set foot in the house along with my gi.

Hibiclens Antimicrobial and Antiseptic Skin Cleanser Liquid - 32 oz


Georgette said...

I'm a freak but I love how bleach smells. I bleach my (white) sheets regularly-- towels too-- for the smell. And I love rolling with people who, like me, use bleach in their wash every once in a while. I think that will kill any creepy crawlies.

Megan said...

I've always wanted to use it on my gi, but don't want to fade any of the stitching (flags 'n' such, no patches).