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Precautions for using  quaternary ammonium salt type surfactant on skin           
  • Koji Kubota
Koji Kubota
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Background/purpose: The antiviral activity of quaternary ammonium salt type surfactant has been reported, however, part of those surfactant has enhancement effect of the skin permeability of matters. In this study, the effect of those surfactant on skin barrier function has been evaluated.
Methods: The Transmission Index method, which is a relative value of a substance's skin permeation rate was applied for evaluation of surfactant. The skin injury was evaluated by microscopic observation.
Results: Some cationic and amphoteric quaternary ammonium salt type surfactants significantly enhanced the skin permeability of the substance. However, unlike sodium laurate, there was no skin tissue damage.
Conclusion: The quaternary ammonium salt type surfactant has no skin tissue damage and may be used as a safe disinfectant. However, on the skin which surface-treated by surfactant, the permeation of substances through the skin is increased, which may allow the percutaneous penetration of viruses and other substances. Therefore, be careful when using it.
Skin barrier function, Skin permeability, Skin injury, Ionic type of surfactant