Does wearing fake tan effect hand hygiene practice? a pilot study

Debbie Waddell* (Contributor), Lynn Melone, Valerie Ness (Contributor), Liz Simpson (Contributor), Andrew Anyakwo (Contributor), Jennifer MacDonald (Contributor), Jacqui Reilly (Contributor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Introduction: Anecdotal evidence from the observation of student nurses in a clinical simulation environment suggested that those wearing fake tan had difficulty removing hand hygiene training lotion from their hands.
Objectives: A pilot study was performed to assess the uptake of fake tan in student nurses, and test the feasibility and acceptability of a study to evaluate the impact of wearing fake tan on the removal of hand hygiene training lotion during hand washing.
Methods: A voluntary sample of student nurses was asked to apply hand hygiene training lotion and then wash their hands. Following application of the training lotion and hand washing, the percentage of the hands covered with training lotion was measured by direct observation of the hands in an ultraviolet light box. Differences in the percentage of training lotion removed, in those wearing fake tan and those not, were explored using Fisher’s exact tests.
Results: Of the 217 participants recruited, 46 (21%) wore fake tan. Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference between fake tan and non-fake tan wearers (Fisher’s exact test 4.152, n = 217, p = 0.243). Fake tan did not impede the removal of hand hygiene training lotion from student nurses’ hands during hand washing. However, the pilot study was designed to test the feasibility and acceptability of such a study and a number of lessons learnt can inform further research. There was initial concern that, given the popularity of wearing fake tan, student nurses would not participate in the study. The study showed this not to be the case as recruitment was successful. We were aware that there were a number of potential confounding variables including, type of fake tan used, length of time since the tan was applied, technique used by participants to apply it and whether moisturiser as well as fake tan had been used. Our study collected data on these variables but the number of possible variations and combinations made it impractical to take account of these in the analysis and highlighted the need to use an experimental design to control for these variables.
Conclusion: Whilst the merits of fake tan, in terms of the prevention
of sun damage through sun protection behaviours are promoted, its
role in hand hygiene is worthy of further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2017
EventInternational Consortium for Prevention and Infection Control - International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG) , Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 20 Jun 201723 Jun 2017


ConferenceInternational Consortium for Prevention and Infection Control


  • Infection control
  • Hand hygiene


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