The integument often referred to as the skin is a protective barrier which serves as the first line of defense for the human system. This longest system in the human body, however, has pores via which influx and efflux of fluids, chemicals and air occur. The skin could get contaminated by contaminants and a need for effective become a necessity. Several old and modern decontamination mechanisms have surfaced some of which include a physical method, use of surfactant, chemical alteration or deactivation.
While the end point of all the several decontamination mechanisms is to ensure that the skin is effectively cleansed, a critical examination of each mechanism is worth doing. The physical method of skin cleansing is practiced by the instantaneous removal of the contaminants done by the scrapping of the contaminant with a wooden stick or by removal of the contaminant cloth, subsequently stored in a plastic bag to prevent aerobilization of the contaminants.
Both emulsification and solvation are possible means through which the skin could get contaminated. One of the most effective way to fight this is the use of surfactants such as soap and detergent which are produced from saponification of alkaline salt and petroleum respectively. Noteworthy, surfactants are amphiphilic substances with both lipophilic and hydrophilic properties. The soap being an anionic surfactant is the most commonly used surfactant due to its ability to dissolve compounds. Other classes of surfactant exist such as the cationic (positively-charged), uncharged and the zwitterionic (having both the positively charged and the negatively charged molecule) surfactant, the uncharged surfactant being the preferred choice for pharmaceutical companies. The preference of uncharged surfactant is perhaps due to its level toxicity as well as superb stability in the biological system. The alteration of the chemical properties of the contaminant is another way to cleanse the body. This is done via possible approaches such as hydrolysis and oxidative chlorination.
Several factors such as the timing of decontamination, chemical properties of the contaminant, the duration of decontamination are key factors which affect the efficiency of decontamination. Other factors such as anatomical sites, a wash-in effect which was described as the irony which occurs when solvents strengthen chemical penetration into the skin rather than enhance it.
Efficiently cleansing of the skin is a task that must be seen to appropriately, the effect of which when not guaranteed result in skin irritation. It is pertinent to know that harsh surfactant effect on skin damage the skin especially the skin corneum (the last layer of the skin) resulting into swelling or hyperhydration. This is because of the conformational changes that occur to the protein and lipid layers. Swelling is a facilitator of surfactant penetration which has the likelihood of causing a chemical disruption of other layers of the skin. Notable examples of this are the irritant contact dermatitis and the allergic contact dermatitis, both of which has been associated with the sensitivity of surfactant.
To avoid skin diseases, it is pertinent that the right contaminants be used which would act fast and be anti-wash-in effect in its usage. Also, it should be easily removable to ensure that it does not promote skin irritation. For this purpose, Eco Soapr was built. Eco Soapr is the product of modern-day technology which helps to reduce the surface tension of surfactant on the skin translating to helping to prevent skin irritation.