Neosporin gel is an over-the-counter (OTC) topical medication used to prevent infection and facilitate the healing process of various minor wounds like scrapes, cuts, and burns. It contains a combination of three antibiotics namely neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin. These antibiotics work together to stop the growth of bacteria keeping the wound clean and safe from infections. Neosporin gel also helps in keeping the wound moist to encourage healing and lessen the chances of infections.
While it’s fairly easy to purchase this triple antibiotic medication from your nearest pharmacy, you have to know that using this product without proper knowledge may pose some risks. If you are uncertain about Neosporin usage, keep reading as we take you through all the essential information about how to use Neosporin safely and effectively.
When to Use Neosporin?
Neosporin is a self-administered treatment that you can use whenever you incur minor wounds like:
3. Punctured skin
Although these minor wounds usually heal in 3 to 7 days without treatment, using Neosporin definitely has some advantages. Neosporin can quicken the healing process and lessen the chances of bacterial infection. Additionally, it can help reduce discomfort or pain and minimize the appearance of scars.
How to Use Neosporin?
Neosporin is a topical treatment and is only meant to use on the skin. It is generally easy to use and apply. However, before you use it, there are some things you should do first,
If you are using Neosporin without a doctor’s prescription, here are some reminders to take note of:
1. Check if you are allergic to the ingredients of Neosporin.
2. If you are using other medications, talk to your pharmacist about possible drug interactions.
3. If you are pregnant, contact your doctor first.
4. This medication is only recommended for adults and children aged 2 years and older.
If you are using Neosporin with a medical prescription or advice, use it as directed by your doctor.
After confirming that Neosporin is a suitable treatment for you, you may refer to the step-by-step guide below.
Step 1: Wash your hands with soap and water
Before applying Neosporin on your skin, make sure that your hands are clean to prevent bacteria transfer. If you have no access to soap and water, you may sanitize your hands with alcohol or hand sanitizer.
Step 2: Clean the affected skin area and dry
Using water or antiseptic, clean the wound and the surrounding skin. This will help in faster and better absorption of the medication. Do not use soap or chemicals to clean your wound as they may cause irritation. Instead, use soap only on the skin around the wound.
Allow your skin to dry before applying the ointment. You may use a clean towel to dry the wound or allow it to air-dry
Step 3: Take a small amount of medication and apply a thin layer on the skin
Make sure to not apply too much Neosporin on your skin. Doing so may increase the risk of experiencing side effects. It can also lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when the bacteria continue to thrive and are no longer affected by antibiotics.
If your doctor recommends a dose, always follow their instruction. Do not change it without consulting your doctor first.
Step 4: Rub in gently
Apply the Neosporin to your wound gently in a circular motion. Make sure to not exert pressure on your wound as it may result in further inflammation.
Step 5: Apply 1 to 3 times a day
The frequency of application may vary from one brand to another. Always follow the indicated frequency of usage printed on the box. Do not use Neosporin for over a week if you are using this medication without a doctor’s prescription to avoid overuse. If you are using Neosporin with a doctor’s prescription, apply it as frequently and as directed by your doctor.
Step 6: Wash your hands after applying the medication
While Neosporin is well tolerated by the skin, accidentally getting it into the sensitive parts of your body like the eyes and mouth may cause irritation. Hence, it’s best to wash your hands after using a Neosporin ointment.
After applying the Neosporin treatment, you may cover your wound with a sterile bandage to provide an added layer of protection against bacterial infections.
What Are the Side Effects of Neosporin?
Neosporin is generally safe as long as it is used properly. However, misuse or overuse of Neosporin can lead to multiple side effects.
We’ve rounded up all the possible side effects of Neosporin in the list below.
6. Difficulty in breathing
7. In very rare cases, Neosporin may also cause fungal or other bacterial infections.
If you experience any of the side effects above, discontinue use and consult your doctor immediately. If you are not yet certain about Neosporin usage, we highly recommend talking to your pharmacist or doctor first.
Tips on Using Neosporin
Using Neosporin is not that complicated but it can still be a challenge for some. If you are having problems with measuring the proper Neosporin dosage, schedule, and storage, here are some tips that can help you out.
Measure the amount of Neosporin using your finger.
Make sure that the amount that you’ll be using is not more than your fingertip can hold. Do not apply more than this amount.
Use this medication on a regular schedule to achieve optimal results
Allot a specific time in your day to apply this medication so you will not forget when to apply it. If you forgot to apply the medication according to the schedule, apply immediately as you remember. If you need to apply the next dose soon, it’s best to skip the missed dose and stick to your regular schedule.
Do not apply double the dose of this product even if you miss one dose
Applying a double dose may result in antibacterial resistance. Always stick to the recommended dose.
Store this medication properly to maintain the quality
Neosporin gel should be stored at room temperature, in a dry place away from heat and humidity.
Neosporin is a convenient solution for preventing bacterial infection in minor wounds. In addition, it can help speed the healing process and minimize the appearance of scars. It is applied topically on the affected area in little amounts one to three times a day.
While Neosporin is deemed safe for topical usage, misuse or overuse of this product can lead to antibiotic resistance and other side effects. Hence, you should follow the indicated directions of use on the label or follow your doctor’s direction.
Neosporin is an OTC drug and can be self-administered. However, it’s still best to contact your doctor first especially if you are under other medications or pregnant. If you are allergic to any ingredients present in Neosporin, do not use it and seek other antibiotic options.