|MadSci Network: Microbiology|
First, DO NOT use phenol. It is a compound that can kill you if you are exposed to A LOT of it. It can be absorbed through the skin. But I will tell you that phenol is toxic to bacteria, but also toxic to humans. Now why is there more of that white bacteria colony after you wash your hands. Did you spread some of the soap on a petri plate? Often bar soap, and especially soft (liquid) soap has bacteria in it. You can check that. Did you check the water that you are using. Tap water is not sterile, there are a lot of bacteria in it. This is not bad, as the number of bacteria is low enough that your body kills most of them. You should plate some of the water on a petri dish. A third thing that can happen is that you dislodge the bacteria that are on your skin and thus it looks like there are more than before. Some bacteria adhere more tightly than others and you may be rubbing them loose but not off. This is less likely if you are using the hand-washing technique you read about in my previous posting. Best Wishes, David Beck
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