Neosporin is, arguably, among the most popular over the counter topical ointments.
Although Neosporin works pretty well for most people, in a small percentage of the population the ointment can trigger an allergic reaction.
If you are among the few people who are allergic to Neosporin, do not despair. Read on to find out about equally effective alternatives.
What Is Neosporin
Neosporin is a topical ointment applied over minor skin infections, small burns, cuts, and scrapes for quick healing.
The ointment contains antibiotics, polymyxin, bacitracin, and neomycin. These compounds mitigate the growth of bacteria.
Neosporin is only best for bacterial infections and may not be suitable for treating viral or fungal infections.
The ointment is generally well tolerated and you can buy it over the counter without requiring a doctor’s prescription.
Neosporin Side Effects
In some rare instances, use of Neosporin may cause other types of skin infections or allergic reactions.
In particular, the antibiotics contained in Neosporin are what trigger an allergic reaction.
The allergic reactions will typically appear in the area where Neosporin is applied. Your doctor may point out that the allergic reaction is a form of contact dermatitis.
Symptoms of Neosporin Allergy
If you are allergic to Neosporin, you may experience several of these symptoms:
- Itchy, burning red rush
- Itching and swelling of the throat, tongue, lips, eyes, lower leg and/or face
- Breathing problems
- Intense dizziness
Swelling and breathing problems are indicative of a severe allergic reaction. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience such symptoms.
The onset of a Neosporin allergy is typically characterized by skin pain, redness, swelling, itching, burning, irritation, rash, and hives.
The rash may blister and become weepy, which may be a sign of a developing infection.
It is common for allergic reactions to Neosporin to manifest up to a week after application of the medicine.
Neosporin Allergy Risk Factors
Anyone can experience an allergic reaction to Neosporin. However, the risk of such an allergic reaction increases with age.
Poor blood circulation, which is common among older adults, increases the risk of adverse skin reaction to Neosporin.
Allergic reactions can interfere with the healing properties of Neosporin. Therefore, you will likely not notice any healing if you react negatively to this ointment. Continued use will not help.
Stop using Neosporin and consult with your doctor if your allergy symptoms do not go away after a week.
If you are allergic to Neosporin, look to other equally effective ointments to store in your first aid toolkit. We have done some research and come up with three of the best Neosporin alternatives.
The same company that creates Neosporin makes Polysporin too.
Like Neosporin, Polysporin is a topical cream that works to treat minor wounds, cuts, and burns to mitigate bacterial infections.
Polysporin is however different from Neosporin in that Polysporin does not contain neomycin.
Neomycin is an antibiotic and is usually the main culprit where allergic reactions to Neosporin are concerned.
In place of neomycin, Polysporin contains polymyxin B, Garamycin, and bacitracin.
Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment is among the oldest wound-healing creams. This is a superb choice if you are looking to avoid antibiotics altogether.
Apply Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment on minor cuts, burns, stings, and bruises for quick healing.
In addition to being a pretty effective topical ointment, Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment is also pocket-friendly.
This soothing ointment contains natural ingredients including lavender oil, Vitamin E, beeswax, cocoa seed butter, comfrey leaf and root extracts among others.
For some users, Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment works much better than the good old Neosporin.
For best results, apply hydrogen peroxide on the cut or wound before applying Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment.
The Sovereign Silver First Aid Gel is an excellent homeopathic alternative to Neosporin.
Colloidal silver is the main ingredient in Sovereign Silver First Aid Gel. Colloidal silver has numerous health benefits including having anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, which help to heal wounds.
Silver also helps to alleviate skin pain, irritation, inflammation, and minor infections.
People commonly use Sovereign Silver First Aid Gel as acne cream, antiseptic, and as a calamine lotion.
Neosporin contains antibiotics and although it works effectively, much of the time, you should avoid overuse.
Medical experts all over the world are concerned over what is now becoming widespread resistance to antibiotics due to overuse.
In particular, avoid using antibiotic creams meant for treating minor burns to treat acne or to moisturize your face. These creams can clog your skin pores and exacerbate acne symptoms.
Avoid using Neosporin and its alternatives on large areas of your skin consistently as this can weaken the skin and increase the risk of infections.
We have pointed you to just three alternatives to Neosporin. In addition to these, consider trying other natural wound-healing alternatives such as garlic, turmeric, and honey among others.
More importantly, be sure to take basic precaution with small wounds and cuts to prevent infections and worsening of these wounds. A good place to start is regularly cleaning the wound and applying appropriate medication.