Do antibacterial soaps really work?

Ask the doctor


Image: venusphoto/iStock

Q. What do you think about the use of "antibacterial" soaps?

A. In recent years, you've probably noticed that bar and liquid soaps that you can buy over the counter include some labeled as having "antibacterial" (or, sometimes, "antimicrobial" or "antiseptic") chemicals added. That sort of sounds as if the soaps with these additives are stronger than regular soaps.

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