Why Over-the-Counter Antibiotics Aren’t for Everyone

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By Lisa  |  Friday, July 6, 2012  |  ,  |  Leave comment

Why OTC Topical Antibiotics Aren't for EveryoneHave you ever had a cut or scrape on your body that you applied an over-the-counter triple antibiotic to and then it seemed to get worse? The common response is to think that your wound is getting infected despite your efforts to prevent infection. However, it may be that you are having an allergic reaction to your OTC topical antibiotic.

One of the most commonly used over-the-counter antibiotics is neomycin; because it is found in so many products.  It is estimated between 7% and 13% of patients have been allergic to neomycin since about 1990. Another common antibiotic found in over-the-counter products is bacitracin which has been used since the 1950's. It is estimated that 15% of patients are allergic to bacitracin.  For more detailed information about OTC topical antibiotic sensitivity see the study published in May 2012 issue of The Dermatologist, "Allergen Focus: Topical Antibiotics".

So what is a person to do if you are sensitive to over-the-counter topical antibiotics and you want to help prevent skin infections?

Using an antiseptic on your minor cuts, scrapes and burns can help prevent infection. One such product designed for minor wound care is Tecnu First Aid Gel. It is antibiotic-free, and uses a maximum strength antiseptic to kill germs that cause skin infections. It also has the wonderful feature of containing Lidocaine, an effective, fast-acting pain reliever.

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