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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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Is antibacterial hand soap really that hazardous to the eyes?

Resolved Question:

Is antibacterial hand soap really that hazardous to the eyes? I read some comment by an expert about how it could lead to chemical or bacterial conjunctivitis and then to blindness. Also, what if it's on the facial skin and can you wash your face with antibacterial hand soap?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.

Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. For the most part, "antibacterial" hand soaps are no different than any other hand soap.
Doctor DanB : If gotten in the eye, they usually can cause some generalized irritation, a conjunctivitis, and occasionally a corneal abrasion, but I do not see a risk of blindness from an accidental exposure to the eyes of antibacterial hand soap. Does that make sense?
Customer:

Hi

Customer:

OK

Customer:

I suppose conjunctivitis (of any kind) typically does not cause corneal damage or blindness

Customer:

?

Doctor DanB : No usually it does not.
Doctor DanB : Do you have any other questions about this?
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3194
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
Dr. Dan B. and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.
Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers.  Please rate your encounter with me by providing feedback; any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated.  If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied. 
 
My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry! 
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3194
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
Dr. Dan B. and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

What if someone is, due to circumstances, unable to rinse the antibacterial hand soap from his eyes for 24 hours or a day?

Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.
Unless it was an overwhelming amount of soap, I still do not feel like this would be likely to cause such a severe conjunctivitis as to produce blindness. I presume you're referring to a relatively small amount, such as could be tolerated for 24 hours.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it was antibacterial hand soap that was used for washing one's face, and it was a small amount so as to be tolerated for 24 hours, albeit with some discomfort or irritation.

Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.
While I might expect a garden-variety, or run-of-the-mill irritation or conjuncitivitis for a few days, at most, I wouldn't expect this to cause anything more serious than that.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3194
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
Dr. Dan B. and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

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Dr. Dan B.
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Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology