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While working in the vets I discovered Hibiscrub. It is a pink liquid used in veterinary practices and hospitals as an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial handwash. Thats a lot of anti- somethings!
It is uses to scrub the hands of surgeons before surgery, to 'scrub-up' - clean the hands and prevent microorganisms on the skin from being passed into the patient. It is a disinfectant with the active ingredient being Chlorhexidine Gluconate 4% w/v.
Hibiscrub is used to clean wounds and their surrounding area, before and after surgery. It is an essential part of your pet first aid kit. It is commonly kept by horse owners. It can also be used to treat skin conditions and is advertised as being able to kill MRSA. Hibiscrub is used to clean the thermometers and disinfect tables in the veterinary practice.
It is a thick liquid, which can be poured onto the hands, or a pump lid can be purchased to insert into the bottle to pump the product out. The scent is sweet, floral, not a bleachy chemical smell and I love it. It reminds me of the vets as soon as I smell it. The colour is a lovely bright pink, and it is quite a shiny liquid.
Hibiscrub comes in a plastic bottle,with screw lid, in many sizes including 250ml, 500ml, 1litre and 5litres. It is available to purchase on Amazon, where 500ml costs £6.76 at present with free delivery. Also available to purchase from vet practices, pet shops and Boots and other pharmacies.
I am a nurse and, as such, use Hibiscrub every day at work. I have used it in my own home also, but I no longer use it in my own home - for the reasons that will become clear further on. This can be bought in pharmacies and I saw it recently in Boots for £8.29 for a 250ml bottle. I believe this is too expensive and it's not a price I am willing to pay for what is essentially a hand wash solution.
Hibiscrub comes in a plastic bottle with full instructions given on the bottle. It is possible for this to be used with a pump dispenser and this tends to be how we dispense it at work because it's easier that way. However, when I bought the bottle to use in my home, it didn't come with a pump dispenser and instead it was just a screw-top lid. The Hibiscrub solution is a deep pink and looks quite appealing, but it has a very clinical smell which is apparent as soon as you squirt it out. It's not fragranced in the way that most hand washes are fragranced, and so it's going to leave you with quite a chemical smell on your hands.
The Hibiscrub is a hand wash that has strong antibacterial properties - and it is so strong that it is used by doctors and nurses before invasive procedures, like surgery. However, it can also be used as a general hand cleaner, particularly if you're changing a dressing or something like that at home. The active ingredient in it is Chlorohexidine Gluconate which, as I said, is a powerful antimicrobal which is even believed to kill the infamous MRSA.
Now, I have no doubt that Hibiscrub cleans very well - and that it does kill bugs that are on the skin. However, the issue I have with it is that it is quite harsh to the skin and when I use it more than a couple of times in one day, my skin becomes really irritated and uncomfortable. Using the Hibiscrub over a few days will leave my skin very very dry, to the point that the skin on my hands starts to break down and become really sore. It actually makes my skin sting and I think that when the skin starts to break down then this isn't very good in terms of infection protection and it means that there is more chance of little bugs having opportunity of getting into my body - which obviously in my line of work is not ideal!
I do have sensitive skin and so I guess it's not that surprising that I react to it so badly - but I am by no means alone. Colleagues at work often react to it. And my partner reacted to it also when we had it at home. It is for these reasons that I prefer not to use Hibiscrub and while it may be okay for very occasional use, it does not seem to be ideal for regular use - at least not for me!
Having horses doesn't come without its problems (and of course expense!) but like we have a first aid kit for ourselves horse owners tend to have a first aid kit for their horses and ponies (well should do anyway!). Don't be fooled into believing that already pre-made horse first aid kits are great as they simply are quite expensive and contain products that with luck you are never likely to use. Generally, there are a few key products which are vital and should be stocked at all times.
One product I think most people have heard of is Hibiscrub - the antimicrobial skin cleanser which is used up and down the country in hospitals, doctors, veterinary practices. The main use for it is washing hands before surgery as it is a disinfectant suitable for the skin as well as frequent hand washing on wards and for preparing a patient's skin when undergoing surgery. Because it is so gentle to use on the skin it makes it incredibly useful to use with animals and I haven't come across a veterinary practice that doesn't have it readily available in any of their rooms.
But apart from knowing what it does, what exactly is Hibiscrub? It is basically a liquid which contains chlorhexidine gluconate which is the key ingredient as it is this which is the antimicrobial agent. Chlorhexidine gluconate manages to kill a wide variety of yeasts and bacteria which is of course an ideal agent when wanting a product that is to be used in hospitals. Not can it just kill the above but it also manages to kill micro-organisms which are found on the skin and therefore can prevent infection - hence why it is so widely used. Apart from just using it in surgeries when using it as a hand wash means that again it can help prevent the spread of infection via bacteria, fungi and viruses between patients, members of the public (visitors) and if used in vets then animals too!
Hibiscrub is a pink liquid which is completely clear to look at and has the same consistency as water. It does have, in my opinion, a wonderful smell to it. It may not be to everyone's liking but it does have a rather floral smell to it but it doesn't completely take away the rather chemical or rather very medicinal aroma to it but it certainly doesn't have a harsh, strong smell which makes you think of a hospital ward! Hibiscrub currently comes in a white square bottle with a screw on plastic top. The label is white and pink with the product name on and the label on the back of the bottle gives instructions, warnings, ingredients list - the usual information you would expect to see.
Now I won't be reviewing the product for human purposes as there would be no point but I am reviewing it on a horse's behalf as I have been using Hibiscrub on my horses (and dogs) for over 10 years and it has always been one product I have kept in stock at all times and it has come in very useful on many occasions. Hibiscrub acts exactly the same on animals as it does with humans, vets use this product nationwide as do horse dentists as they use it on their tools and for freelance clippers, grooms etc who may want to disinfect their boots and hands before they leave one yard to go to another to save spreading any disease etc.
Horses can get into quite a few scrapes in the field whether it is by themselves or when they are playing together so I have had my fair share of cuts, knocks and bangs to clean up. The only product I tend to use when wanting to clear and cleanse the affected area is Hibiscrub as it is gentle enough to clear any debris/blood/mud/dirt from the area without damaging the skin as it is so gentle. You should never apply Hibiscrub direct onto a horse's skin without diluting it first especially on broken skin. The best way to do it is pour in a tiny amount into a bucket of luke warm water. Hibiscrub does froth up when poured under running water so be careful how much you actually put in, you don't need a lot for it to actually work - the water doesn't need to be turned pink either!
When applying on broken skin I do use cotton wool pleats and does dab them in the water which has Hibiscrub in and then gently clean the area. Once all clear and depending where the affected area is I do then pour the bucket of water with the diluted Hibiscrub over the area - you don't need to rinse off as it is more than gentle on the skin but this is personal choice. In my 10 plus years of using Hibiscrub I have never had a horse with an infection from a cut so I do really think that it works well. Of course on a daily basis I would keep cleaning the area with diluted Hibiscrub until the area has healed but I do think that Hibiscrub does a great job of keeping away anything damaging.
When I used to compete (showjumping/cross country/hunter trials) I would always wash my horses legs down in water diluted with Hibiscrub as the legs undertaken such a battering from knocks and bangs that my thought process was that should they have any cuts and/or knocks that the Hibiscrub would help keep the legs clean and infection free. Even now when I don't compete in those disciplines when I know my horses have been a bit silly in the field I will wash their legs down in heavily diluted Hibiscrub just in case they have cut themselves. I have never had any problems with using Hibiscrub on any of my horses over the years and find it such a vital product to have.
Of course with any product like this there are health warnings and one thing my vet did say to me was that over using it can cause skin irritation and dryness - fortunately this has never happened to any of my lot but then I don't use it on a daily basis unless I have to. The general warnings are pretty simple such as don't consume it as it is for external use only, avoid getting it in the eyes, not to be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients and of course there are warnings for pregnant and breastfeeding women. But of course a pharmacist or doctor will be able to tell you whether it is suitable or not.
Hibiscrub can be bought from pharmacies without the need for prescription and for animal owners it can be purchased from any good equestrian store - it really isn't hard to find. Generally for us horse owners it is found where all the other first aid type products are and can be easily identified by the white bottle and white/pink label. I really have no complaints whatsoever about Hibiscrub it manages to keep infection away from my horses should they have damaged themselves and despite using it with my bare hands it hasn't caused any irritation or sensitivity whatsoever and more importantly it hasn't caused any problems on the horse's skin either. It is an easy product to use and for me is an incredibly item to have. I'd definitely recommend to all horse/pony owners and anyone who works with animals!
~ Useful Info ~
Manufacturer: Prestige Medical
Availability: Widely available in pharmacies and online
Price: For a 500ml bottle from £3.99 upwards
Hibiscrub is a pink coloured anti-bacterial soap product used widely in hospitals and veterinary clinics. It is also a very useful product to have around the house, especially if you keep pets as it can be used for both animals and humans.
I have pet horses, dogs and cats and have used hibiscrub to bathe wounds on all of them and so far they have never become infected and seem to heal quite fast. It's also ideal for treating skin irritations such as rain scald in horses.
Of course it's great to use as a germ killing hand wash for everyday use in the kitchen and bathroom etc. (it's obviously the best you can use for killing germs on your hands as it is what surgeons and vets use before carrying out operations) It is also recommended to use it as a bath soap prior to an operation as it helps to prevent MRSA.
It is also quite reasonably priced and lasts quite a long time if using just as a first-aid essential as it is usually diluted before use. (especially for washing out large wounds before applying other treatments)
HiBiSCRUB is the hospital strength whole body wash that you can use before, and during a hospital visit. Its particularly effective if you are due to have surgery. It's the same product that the surgeons have been 'scrubbing up' with for over 40 years so you know this is the best quality. Its only just recently become available to the public.
The main advantage of HiBiSCRUB is that it is proven to actually Kill MRSA as well as all other known bacteria. This is why I recently chose to buy it for my Grandad who had an operation. 3 in 10 people carry MRSA on their skin but its only when you have an open wound or your immune system is weak that it can infect you and is potentially life threatening. So if you didn't use it you could take the infection into hospital and infect yourself and others.
This product is created by a swedish medical company, whose products are widely used by healthcare professionals. In sweden no one has MRSA because when the doctor decides a patient needs an operation he will test them to see if they are carrying MRSA before sending them into the hospital. If they have it they aren't allowed in until they have been treated for it. If only the NHS were as vigilant!
So thats why they had to invent HiBiSCRUB! Its a body wash that contains chlorhexidine gluconate. It's this ingredient that kills the bacteria and binds to the skin to creates a second layer on top. Its this layer that reduces your risk of infection and will protect you for up to 6 hours. You don't see the layer of chlorhexidine gluconate, its just like using a shower gel. Even though its a hospital strength formula it doesn't dry your skin out.
HiBiSCRUB is a must have product for anyone who is going into hospital who wants to protect themselves from Superbugs. Its £7.99 for 250ml which I think is great value for a high quality product and you can't put a price on your health.
I have had a few messages from people wanting to know where to buy it.
An antimicrobial preparation for pre-operative surgical hand disinfection /