Why should antibiotic ointments be applied?

This combination product is used to treat minor wounds (e.g., cuts, scrapes, burns) and to help prevent or treat mild skin infections. Minor skin infections and wounds usually heal without treatment, but some minor skin wounds may heal faster when an antibiotic is applied to the affected area. This product contains antibiotics that work by slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria.

Topical antibiotics are often applied to wounds after surgery because it is thought that they prevent surgical site infection. There are thought to be benefits in using antibiotics topically rather than orally or intravenously. As topical antibiotics act only on the area of the body where they are applied, there is less likelihood of unwanted effects that affect the whole body, such as nausea and diarrhoea. Topical antibiotics are also thought to reduce the chances of bacterial resistance (bacteria changing to become resistant to medication). However topical antibiotics can also have unwanted effects, the most common being an allergic reaction on the skin (contact dermatitis), which can cause redness, itching and pain at the site where the topical antibiotic was applied.


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What is an abrasion?

An abrasion is a superficial rub or wearing off of the skin, usually caused by a scrape or a brush burn. Abrasions are usually minor injuries that can be treated at home. The skin may bleed or drain small amounts at the time of the injury or at times over the next few days if rubbed or scratched. 

Abrasions are very common injuries. They can range from mild to severe. Abrasions are most likely to occur on the:

  • elbows

  • knees

  • shins

  • ankles

  • upper extremities

Abrasions can be painful, since they sometimes expose many of the skin’s nerve endings. However, they don’t typically cause much bleeding. Most abrasions can be treated at home.

Abrasions aren’t usually as serious as laceration or incision wounds. These are cuts that typically affect deeper skin layers. They may cause intense bleeding and require medical care.


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What is scar made of?

Scars form when the dermis (deep, thick layer of skin) is damaged. The body forms new collagen fibers (a naturally occurring protein in the body) to mend the damage, resulting in a scar. The new scar tissue will have a different texture and quality than the surrounding tissue. Scars form after a wound is completely healed.

There are different kinds of scars. Most scars are flat and pale. However, in cases when the body produces too much collagen, scars can be raised. Raised scars are called hypertrophic scars or keloid scars. Both of these kinds of scars are more common in younger and dark-skinned people.

Some scars can have a sunken or pitted appearance. This kind of scarring occurs when underlying structures supporting the skin (for example, fat or muscle) are lost. Some surgical scars have this appearance, as do some scars from acne.

Scars also can appear as stretched skin. Such scars result when the skin stretches rapidly (for example, as in growth spurts or during pregnancy). In addition, this type of scar can occur when the skin is under tension (near a joint, for example) during the healing process.


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What is Pus?

Pus is a whitish-yellow, yellow, or brown-yellow protein-rich fluid called liquor puris that accumulates at the site of an infection.

Pus is the result of the body’s natural immune system automatically responding to an infection, usually caused by bacteria or fungi.

Leukocytes, or white blood cells, are produced in the marrow of bones. They attack the organisms that cause infection.

Neutrophils, a type of leukocyte, have the specific task of attacking harmful fungi or bacteria.

For this reason, pus also contains dead bacteria.

Macrophages, another type of leukocyte, detect the foreign bodies and release an alarm system in the form of small, cell-signaling protein molecules called cytokines.

Cytokines alert the neutrophils, and these neutrophils filter from the bloodstream into the affected area.

The rapid accumulation of neutrophils eventually leads to the presence of pus.


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