Can Hand / Skin Sanitizers Be Ototoxic?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Robin21, Jun 17, 2021.

    1. Robin21

      Robin21 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced

      Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, like most of you, I've been using hand and skin sanitizers (spray, gel, you name it) on my hands pretty much numerous times daily.

      However, I realized some contain chemicals that can be ototoxic like phenol and derivatives like biphenyl-2-ol (antibacterial and fungal properties) and other similar substances. It's usually very low concentration (0.2%), however continuous and prolonged use may be a concern. Dermal absorption is a real thing, and given their high toxic capacity I wonder if it can cause damage to hearing or worsen tinnitus?

      Since I use the sanitizers everyday, and sometimes even use them to sanitize my earplugs, I am more than worried that it might be the culprit for the worsening of my tinnitus? My hearing hasn't got any worse, but that doesn't rule out the causation of the spike.

      Thoughts on this?
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    2. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      Maybe... although I've yet to have found a skin product that I believe has worsened my tinnitus.

      With hand wash, it simply doesn't stay on your skin long enough for anything to be absorbed... but I take your point regarding hand gels.

      The general rule with ototoxic drugs and chemicals however, is that they're only really harmful when introduced directly to the ear (think Neomycin for outer ear infections) or intravenously.

      While there may in fact be ototoxic chemicals in hand gels and sprays etc. the dermal absorption rate is going to be too minuscule for any significant amount to reach (and harm) the inner ear.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Wrfortiscue

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I seriously doubt it.

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