Recently it has been found out by researchers of Columbia University that in two prisons of New York State, the inmates are using antimicrobial gels to groom their hair.
The said gels are used normally by prisoners as shaving creams, lip balms and skin lotions. Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University undertook a study in which it was found that some prisoners use the germ-killing gels into their hair to slick it down.
The commonly sold brands of these antimicrobials are Bacitracin and Neosporin.
The researchers have warned that extensive use of the antimicrobial ointments like this leads to resistance. 401 ladies and 421 men were taken for the study, out of which 28% women and 23% men were found to be misusing the germ-killing ointments as hair-grooming products. The reason behind this is not surely known, but it is supposed to be the free distribution of the medicines. Cosmetic products are to be bought from the jail’s commissary.
Researchers hope that an educational promotion and natural hair vitamins may stop the misuse. Non-antibiotic creams too are supplied free by jail’s medical units. It is said to be natural for the prisoners to do such things when they suffer from dry skin and dry lips.
Bacteria resistant of antibiotics are a major issue connected to public health. Public health officers are particularly concerned with a highly infectious and transmittable species of bacteria called by its short form MRSA, meaning methicillin-resistant staph aureus. The researchers of the Columbia University observe that MRSA is highly prevalent in prisons. It is particularly of concern how MRSA can spread between amenities and community and also how it relapses.
Public health officers have focused on the New York prisons and general facilities because of having greater levels of MRSA functions. Bacteria mutate continuously and some of them develop resistance to commonly used antibiotics and they then become tough to eradicate. Sometimes even more fatal situation arises when these bacteria become ‘flesh-eating’ and cause a disease known as necrotizing fascitis.
Using germ-killing ointments for grooming has reached communities in the same manner as certain prison fashions, like donning low-slung pants.
Since 2001, MRSA has thrived in correctional facilities as found by The Centers for Disease Control and Infection. Per year, about 600,000 prisoners are released from prison and it is yet not known if they are infected. The correctional facilities may thus by important proliferation centers for MRSA colonization and contamination in the community.
If you use antimicrobials constantly at sites where they are not needed like as a hair-grooming product, beware! You can catch a MRSA infection!