It is a topical (external use) antiseptic to reduce bacteria (germs) on the skin. Its use can reduce risk of skin infections.
It is available over the counter as Hibaclens
Using chlorhexidine topically prior to surgery can reduce the risk of surgical site infections
- Wash hair as usual and body with regular soap
- Wet clean wash cloth and turn off shower
- Put chlorhexidine soap on washcloth
- Apply to whole body from neck down- do not get into eyes or mouth
- Soap does not lather
- Wash body gently for 5 minutes with the wash cloth- Do not scrub too hard
- Do not use regular soap after using chlorhexidine
- Turn shower back on and rinse
- Pat dry with clean dry towel
- Do not use any lotion, moisturizer or makeup on skin
How long does it work?
The chlorhexidine will work for hours after application to continue killing bacteria.
Can dry your skin, which can become counter productive. Therefore do not over use. Probably using every other day for the first week then once a week thereafter should be sufficient for most cases for maintenance.
Using Chlorhexidine starting the week prior to surgery may provide additional reduction in the risk of surgical site infections. Do use the night before and morning of surgery. The repeated use over a short time does have some additive benefit in the short term such as needed for surgery.