First-Aid Antibiotics

What Are First-Aid Antibiotic Medicines For?

Even if you are an exceptionally careful individual, it is virtually impossible to avoid getting a minor skin injury from time to time. Perform an everyday task like cooking dinner or doing yard work, and you might end up with a cut, scrape, or burn. If not properly cleaned and attended to, these injuries can become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Once these organisms enter a wound, they can cause a number of problems, such as pain, swelling, redness, itching, and oozing. If left untreated, an infection may lead to serious health concerns. First-aid antibiotic medicines are used to help prevent infection in minor skin injuries.

How First-Aid Antibiotic Medicines Work

First-aid antibiotics, like all over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, contain certain active ingredients that make them work on the human body. The product’s active ingredients, including how much of a substance is in each dose, are listed first on the Drug Facts label.

First-aid antibiotics are topical medicines available in spray, ointment, cream, and powder form.

These products should only be used on the outer surface of the body. When applied to a wound, the active ingredients in first-aid antibiotics work by killing bacteria, which prevents an infection from developing.

First-aid antibiotic ingredients include:

  • Bacitracin
  • Bacitracin zinc
  • Neomycin sulfate
  • Polymyxin B

Some first-aid antibiotics may contain additional active ingredients to help relieve pain.


All of the tips for the safe use of OTC first-aid antibiotic medicines also apply to children. But there are some additional considerations when it comes to treating kids.

  • Talk to a healthcare provider before using a first-aid antibiotic on a child under the age of 2.

First-aid antibiotic medicines are most effective at preventing infection in a fresh, clean wound and should be used within the first few hours of getting the injury. Treating the wound with a first-aid antibiotic from the onset may actually help your skin heal faster.