The skin is the largest organ system in the human body, making up roughly 16% of our body weight. When healthy, it performs a variety of defensive functions and plays a vital role in immune health. The latter role, however, is often overlooked—particularly when it comes to the use of topical antiseptics for patient bathing and preoperative skin preparation. Many practitioners don’t consider how these products impact our skin’s natural, innate immunity. In choosing products for these applications, consideration should be given to those that support that immunity. Identifying products that optimize the Stratum corneum, Minimize microbial adherence, support Antimicrobial peptides, Reestablish a healthy inflammatory response, and aid Tissue respiration can help stage patients—whether in the OR, the ICU, or the general ward– for the best possible outcomes.
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