University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Title

Chlorhexidine: uses and adverse reactions

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology

Date

5-2013

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Chlorhexidine

Disciplines

Allergy and Immunology | Dermatology | Organic Chemicals

Abstract

Chlorhexidine is increasingly being used not only as an antiseptic to prevent hospital infections and an adjuvant in oral hygiene but also as a preservative in personal care products. As exposure to the agent becomes more widespread, reports of adverse reactions to it are increasing. Complications range from mild irritant contact dermatitis to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Allergic contact dermatitis in some cases precedes anaphylaxis. It is imperative that physicians be aware of the many possible sources of contact with this antiseptic and be alert to recognize the potentially debilitating and catastrophic reactions that may occur because of chlorhexidine sensitization.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Dermatitis. 2013 May-Jun;24(3):112-8. doi: 10.1097/DER.0b013e3182905561. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed