Don’t use abrasive disinfectants on intact skin in the elderly, who are bedridden and with fragile and/or damaged skin. (AIUC)

Type of practice

Other health practices

Topic Area


The use of disinfectants and colouring agents (sodium hypochlorite, mercurial disinfectants, povidone-iodine, benzene derivatives …) on intact skin is a very common practice. Besides not having any clinical rational, the use of these products is particularly harmful, because they cause dry skin, allergies, contact dermatitis, and itching. They can also increase the risk of developing stage 1 and 2 bedsores. Current guidelines and studies recommend using detergents specifically formulated with acidic ph and with a non-rinsing formulation, to reduce rubbing during cleaning.


1. Acta Vulnologica, aprile 2013, Documento di posizionamento “La Cute: identificazione dei criteri per una gestione corretta”.
2. E.P.U.A.P: Linee guida Trattamento e Prevenzione delle ulcera da pressione,Guida rapida di riferimento. 2009.
3. Scardillo J, Aronovitch S A: Successfully managing incontinence-related irritant dermatitis across the lifespace. Ostomy/Wound Management 1999; 45: 36–40, 42–44.

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.