I have always been allergic to antiseptic/antibiotic ointments (Neosporin-type creams), which is pretty awful: if I have a minor cut or scrape, and put Neosporin on to "protect" the area...instead I would get a rash on top of my injury. ouch!
I just read in the December 2008 Wellness Letter (from the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health) that "antibiotic ointments may help heal minor wounds, but can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions". Moreover, they say that the best advice is to "hold the wound under cool running water--this is far better than any antiseptic you can buy."
This was great to read, as I've always wondered what I should do about my wounds, and had not heard of anyone else who has had an allergic reaction to antibiotic creams--but I guess it is common. There are so many home remedies and old-fashioned first aid tips, that it is difficult to remember what is truly helpful in healing, versus what has been proven ineffective.
And, just in case you still use rubbing alcohol, iodine or hydrogen peroxide on wounds...don't do it! All of these substances damage skin and/or are irritating to the skin, and actually slow or retard healing. Rubbing alcohol is OK for intact skin or cleaning needles.
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