Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Cream- Medication Cabinet Staple #6

Continuing along our "what doctors keep in their medication cabinet" theme, the next item is another cream: generic triple antibiotic cream or ointment. When someone scrapes their arm, leg, or other unfortunate body part, I grab for a bottle of non-stinging wound cleanser foam, the antibiotic cream and a bandaid. If we can easily flush the area with water, that's my first cleanser of choice, but often this is an outdoor adventure accident (or sporting event, etc.), so I keep the cleansing foam in my first aid kit for a quick fix. After the wound is "clean", I plop on a small amount of antibiotic cream, and top it off with a bandage.

Does the brand matter for the cleanser or cream? Not really- the ingredients are very similar, if not identical. I typically buy the generic brand of triple antibiotic cream that has a bit of topical anesthetic in it for pain relief. I do have a preference on the bandages, however. Here it is all about "location, location, location." There are specific bandaids made for fingers and heels that are designed to allow flexion while keeping the bandage snug, and I will happily pay extra for them. Otherwise, it's age dependent. Our family is past the Disney princess and Care Bear bandaids, but is still all about "cool" bandaids with fun colors or stripes. The younger the age, the more important the fun factor!

Again, a disclaimer. We have a very high prevalence of antibiotic-resistent bacteria that can cause skin infections, the most common being MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus). Over the counter products will NOT cure this infection. If your cut stays looking red and irritated or the redness is growing rather than shrinking, please see your doctor!

BOTTOM LINE: Make sure to stock a triple antibiotic cream along with a foam cleanser and your favorite bandages in your cabinet!

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