Bare below the elbow uniforms appear to have little impact on infection risk, say US researchers.
A randomised study looked at 100 doctors who wore a clean, short-sleeved uniform or a long-sleeved white coat.
Cultures were taken from wrists, cuffs and pockets.
No significant differences were found in bacteria colony counts between each style after eight hours.
The researchers said: “Our data do not support…requiring healthcare workers to avoid long-sleeved garments.”