Antibiotic ointments are topical ointments that are usually found in an oil
base to kill bacteria and prevent potential infections. The ointment is to be applied to affected areas of the skin that may be susceptible to infections—these include burns, minor cuts, and abrasions. Do NOT use antibiotic ointment on puncture wounds, severe burns or animal bites. After regular cleansing of minor wounds, antibiotics are applied as an effective part of wound care and healing to make sure that the wound heals properly and does not incur an infection. Combining good first aid training with effective use of antibiotics can dramatically decrease the amount of healing time for a wound.
Some people apply topical ointment on new tattoos; however, many tattoo artists stand against it for many reasons. It is important to note that the sole purpose of topical antibiotics is to speed up the healing process without making the wound vulnerable to infections. If you suspect that your wound has been infected, it is important that you visit your doctor and acquire antibiotics to inhibit the infection from radiating to other regions of the body and exacerbating the situation even more.
Make sure you apply topical antibiotics when your wound is dry and clean. Make sure you thoroughly wash your wound with soap and water to remove dirt and debris and then pat dry with a washcloth. After the wound is dry and free of dirt, apply the antibiotic gel. The oil-base is to ensure that the ointment does not absorb into the skin, thus making it easy to be wiped off, therefore, cover the wound with a bandage after you have covered it with the antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics also tend to stain clothes. Active ingredients contained in antibiotics usually include neomycin sulfate, bacitracin and polymyxin.
Antibiotics as Creams
Many antibiotics are also available in the form of creams to enable them to be absorbed in the skin. The cream treatments usually include more ingredients for pain relief, which is significantly useful to alleviate the stinging pain of burns.
Antibiotic creams and ointments are easily accessible in drug stores and grocery stores as well. Antibiotics are usually quite inexpensive; therefore, make sure you keep a supply of antibiotics in your house or workplace, in case of an injury.
Note that topical ointments are not used for more than one week. If antibiotic treatment is not helping in wound healing, it is a good time to visit your doctor. Make sure you do not use topical antibiotics for humans on your pets, unless prescribed by your veterinarian. Some people also like to apply antibiotic gels on ointments, however, make sure you do not cover your entire face or large regions of your face with it as the oil base may clog the pores of your face rapidly, thus aggravating the condition or producing more vexing problems.
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