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Emollient formulations containing antiseptics reduce effectively the level of Staphylococcus aureus on skin

Authors Spada F, Barnes TM, Greive KA

Received 8 May 2019

Accepted for publication 23 August 2019

Published 4 September 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 639—645


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Weinberg

Video abstract presented by Fabrizio Spada.

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Fabrizio Spada, Tanya M Barnes, Kerryn A Greive

Research & Development, Ego Pharmaceuticals, Braeside, Victoria, Australia

Correspondence: Fabrizio Spada
Ego Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, 21-31 Malcolm Road, Braeside, Victoria 3195, Australia
Tel +61 39 586 8874
Fax +61 39 580 7647
Email [email protected]

Background: Increased skin colonization by Staphylococcus aureus is associated with atopic eczema (AE) severity. Reduction of S. aureus levels on the skin results in an improvement in the clinical condition.
Methods: The antimicrobial activity of topical products including a bath oil, cream, and wash combining antiseptics and emollients (A+E) was compared to products containing emollients only. The preference of patients with AE for A+E cream or emollient only cream to relieve symptoms of itching, erythema, and inflammation when applied three times daily for 10 days is evaluated. Repeat insult patch testing of the products is also conducted.
Results: A significant reduction in microbial counts was found following use of A+E bath oil (4.09±0.32 vs 6.20±0.24 log10 cfu/mL S. aureus, P<0.001), A+E cream (5.50±0.63 vs 5.94±0.72 log10 cfu/foot S. aureus, P=0.002), and A+E wash (2.71±0.48 vs 3.57±0.31 log10 cfu/mL Escherichia coli, P<0.001) compared to the emollient only products. The A+E cream was preferred to the emollient only cream (P=0.004) by patients with AE. All three tested formulations were found to be non-irritating and non-sensitizing to the skin.
Conclusion: The bath oil, cream, and wash containing antiseptics and emollients decrease the level of bacteria on the skin, including S. aureus, compared to emollient only products. Patients with AE preferred the A+E cream compared to the emollient only cream to relieve symptoms of itching, erythema, and inflammation. The choice of formulation allows clinicians and patients to choose a suitable product for the short-term treatment of eczema flare-ups caused by bacterial infections.

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus, atopic eczema, atopic dermatitis, benzalkonium chloride, triclosan, antimicrobial, antiseptic, emollient

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