WHAT ARE TOPICAL ANTIBACTERIALS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
Topical antibacterials are a class of medications used to prevent and treat infections caused by bacteria and minor skin infections caused by cuts, scrapes, and burns. If these wounds are left untreated, bacteria can multiply, causing pain, redness, swelling and itching, and oozing.
Topical antibacterials work in the following ways:
- They slow down or stop the growth of the bacteria.
- They reduce the swelling, redness, and itching by activating natural substances in the skin.
Different kinds of topical antibiotics kill different types of bacteria. Many first-aid antibiotic products contain combinations of antibiotics to make them effective against a broad range of bacteria. Some topical antibiotics are available without a prescription and sold in several forms, including creams, ointments, powders, and sprays.
Apply a thin layer of the medication on the skin after cleaning and drying the affected area, usually one to three times daily or as directed by your doctor. After the antibiotic is applied, the wound should be covered with a dressing; it is best to keep wounds clean and moist while they heal.
Certain kinds of injuries may need medical care and should not be self-treated with topical antibiotics. These include:
- Large wounds
- Cuts that are bleeding profusely or need stitches
- Scrapes imbedded with foreign particles
- Animal bites
- Eye injuries
HOW ARE TOPICAL ANTIBACTERIALS USED?
- Minor wounds caused by
- Mild skin and soft tissue infections
- Mild folliculitis (inflammation and infection of the hair follicles)
- Mild to moderate acne
- Impetigo (a bacterial infection of the skin that is more common in young children)
- Rosacea (redness and visible blood vessels on the face)
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF TOPICAL ANTIBACTERIALS?
Common side effects include:
- Skin irritation
- Slight burning sensation
- Pruritis (itching)
Other rare side effects include:
- Trouble breathing
- Allergic contact dermatitis (occurs when the skin develops an allergic reaction after being exposed to a foreign substance)
- Hearing problems
- Severe dizziness (feeling faint, weak, or unsteady)
- Allergic reaction
Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
WHAT ARE DRUG NAMES OF TOPICAL ANTIBACTERIALS?
Drug names include:
- bacitracin and lidocaine topical
- bacitracin topical
- Bactroban Nasal
- Cortisporin Cream
- CVS Bacitracin With Pain Relief
- Double Antibiotic Ointment
- Erythromycin topical
- Garamycin topical
- Gentamicin topical
- Lanabiotic Ointment
- Metronidazole topical
- Neomycin topical
- Neomycin/polymyxin B/ bacitracin/lidocaine
- Neomycin/polymyxin B/ bacitracin/pramoxine
- Neomycin/polymyxin B/bacitracin topical
- Neosporin Original Ointment
- Neosporin Plus Pain Relief Ointment
- Ozenoxacin topical
- Polymyxin B/bacitracin topical
- Silver sulfadiazine
- SSD Cream
- TriBiozene Ointment
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment