Topical Antibiotics [DermTV #469]

Topical Antibiotics [DermTV #469]

Topical Antibiotics are great to help speed
healing and prevent or treat skin infections, especially after minor skin injuries. And
in many DermTV episodes, I’ve mentioned other situations where they
literally work magic. But they don’t all work the same so if you want to know how to pick the right
one for you, stay tuned! Hello, I’m Dr. Neal Schultz [pause] And welcome to DermTV. Scratches, abrasions, burns and cuts are all
part of the minor injuries we get from time to time. They’re just part
of life. But when they occur, besides the obvious pain
and bleeding, more importantly, the barrier function that
your skin provides is broken. One of the most important functions of the
top layer of your skin, the epidermis, s to be a barrier that keeps your inside world
in, such as blood, and keeps the outside world out… like germs including hundreds of different
types of bacteria. Through the same break in the skin that allows
your blood to seep out, through that same cut, bacteria can get into
your skin and cause an infection. So topical antibiotics are used to both help
prevent those infections as well as to treat them if in fact your skin
gets infected. Many topical antibiotics are available without
a prescription and come in different forms, including creams,
ointments and powders. For most minor injuries, I prefer the ointment
form because it helps the skin heal faster by keeping
it moist. But which antibiotic ointment should you use? There are lots to choose from including Bacitracin,
Polysporin, Neomycin, Neosporin, Triple antibiotic ointment,
and so on. Confusing? Of course! Nothing’s easy! The antibacterial ingredients in all of these
products fight different types of bacteria, and none
treat them all, so many topical antibiotic products contain
combinations of these antibiotics to make them effective against a broader range
of bacteria. But I’m going to make it easy for you by
telling you what I use for myself: it’s Bacitracin or Polysporin. Bacitracin is effective against the most common bacteria that cause skin infections. Polysporin contains Bacitracin and a second
antibiotic ingredient, Polymyxin B, which fights additional bacteria
that Bacitracin doesn’t. Neosporin and most Triple antibiotic products contain Bacitracin, Polymyxin B and Neomycin, which also treats a wide variety of bacteria. So Neosporin and most Triple antibiotic products
really contain the same two ingredients that are in Polysporin
and also contains Neomycin. But the reason I don’t use or recommend
Neosporin or Triple antibiotic products is because the
Neomycin in them often causes an allergic reaction called allergic
contact dermatitis… a little bit like the rash you get from poison
ivy. So the next time you get a minor skin injury, I usually suggest using either Bacitracin
or Polysporin ointment. I hope that helps and un-confuses you!


23 thoughts on “Topical Antibiotics [DermTV #469]”

  • I'm so grateful for the transcript! Thanks for making the effort to include in the description box. Now i know how the technical terms should be spelt when i want to do Google searches! (;

  • Margarita and Chips says:

    Thank u for the video dr. I have been using topical antibiotic gel for my acne. Can i use these topical antibiotic gel on my acne?

  • Are topical antibiotics really necessary for the "simple skin injuries of life?" How often do these skin injuries get infected? Wouldn't Aquafor suffice to keep the wound moist albeit without the antibiotics? I have gotten minor skin infections because my skin in very dry and I am not diligent with moisturizing it, but this has been mild folliculitis and that resolves itself without intervention.

  • colombianita2005 says:

    Can you talk about the tca acid?I found a review on youtube and I would like to try it but looks much more stronger than glycolic. Thanks doc!

  • Thank you for making that distinction! I have had a reaction to Neosporin in the past. Now I know it might just be the Neomycin and I will try the Polysporin instead.

  • Hi Dr Schultz – I'm really freaking out right now cause I've stated using Benzoyl peroxide for my face from the doctor – however, recently I'm increasingly getting wrinkles under my eyes I've never had before since using the product – I've kept the gel away from my eyes and left the eye area and not applied the gel directly. Will this be permanent? Is there any way I can get rid of them? They're very unsightly and worrying me a lot :{

  • hey schultz I know this is off topic but what kind of facial and body ingredients do you recommend for african american skin such as gylcolic acid, lactic acid, etc? and another question what kind of lightening cream can i use to lighten my buttocks, knees and elbows these are my problem area and i want to lighten them but most over the counter products are not as effective.

  • I'm allergic to Penecillin and Neosporin. I've been told I can use Polysporin/Bacitracin. But it seems like it stays red and oozes and does not get better, are they all related to penecillin?

  • Kudos for the video content! Excuse me for chiming in, I am interested in your thoughts. Have you heard about – Parlandealey Impetigo Goodbye Process (should be on google have a look)? It is a smashing exclusive guide for learning how to cure Impetigo minus the headache. Ive heard some incredible things about it and my friend finally got astronomical success with it.

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