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Objective: This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of hand-washing gel containing banana peel extract in reducing bacterial load on dentists’ hands.
Materials and Methods: Twenty-four volunteers participated in this crossover study using 4% chlorhexidine gluconate, gel with banana peel extract, and gel without banana peel extract. At each round of the trial, the volunteers washed their hands with 4% chlorhexidine gluconate, put on gloves, and provided dental treatments, i.e. operative treatment, scaling and root planing, endodontic work, or prosthodontic procedures. After 30 minutes, the volunteers took off gloves and firmly put thumbs for 5 seconds on the first nutrient agar plates (baseline). The volunteers in each group then washed their hands with the assigned hand-washing products and firmly put thumbs for 5 seconds on the second agar plates (immediately washing the hands). The volunteers put on gloves and continued to do their work. After one hour, the volunteers took off gloves and firmly put thumbs for 5 seconds on the third agar plates (one hour after washing the hands). After 24-hours incubation at 35°C, the bacterial colonies on agar plates were observed and counted. Bacterial loads on hands were compared using Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test and Mann-Whitney U test.
Results: The results showed that the number of bacterial colonies was significantly decreased from baseline to immediately washing the hands with 4% chlorhexidine gluconate and gel with banana peel extract but not for the gel without banana peel extract. However, the number of bacterial colonies was significantly increased from immediately to one hour washing the hands for all assigned handwashing products.
Conclusion: The data from this study suggests that handwashing gel containing banana peel extract has the promising results in reducing bacterial load on dentist’s hands. This finding supports the utilization of banana peels, a vast agricultural residue in Thailand, as anti-bacterial agent.
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