Dr. Matt Zirwas, MD, FAAD

Physician (MD, DO)


Dermatologic Surgery,
General Dermatology

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Bexley Dermatology
2359 E. Main St.
Bexley, Ohio 43209 [MAP]
For an appointment , call (614) 947-1716
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Chlorhexidine Allergy

What is it?

Chlorhexidine is an antibacterial compound used mainly in soaps and disinfectants used to prepare the skin before surgery. It is in some antibacterial hand soaps and is added to personal care products as a preservative.

Where might it be found?

  • Shampoo
  • Hair conditioners
  • Hairstyling products
  • Hand Soaps
  • Mouthwash
  • Pre-surgery Scrubs
  • Pre-surgery skin preps
  • Oral surgical prep
  • Dairy cow teat care
  • Moisturizers
  • Facial cleansers
  • Facial toners
  • Aftershaves
  • Eye make-up remover
  • Toothpaste
  • Gum treatment
  • Urologic disinfectant
  • Gynecological prep

How to avoid it:

  • Tell doctors you are allergic to chlorhexidine.
  • There are pre-operative preps that do not contain chlorhexidine, such as betadine scrub.
  • Check the labels of the types of products listed above to make sure they don’t have it.