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Is Neosporin Bad For You?



Short answer

Other than a possibility of bacteria developing immunity and rare side-effects, Neosporin is a great thing to have around the house.



Long answer

Neosporin is a topical antibacterial cream used for treating small wounds (such as small cuts and scrapes) and minor infections. While Neosporin is generally safe to use and side-effects are rare, the following may occur: burning, redness, skin irritation. Furthermore, Neosporin can be dangerous if swallowed or put in the eyes. Very rarely will more serious side-effects occur such as fungal infection or infection of a different bacterial strain. 

In the rare case that you are allergic to any of the ingredients (including neomycin sulfate, Polymyxin B, Pramoxine, and Bacitracin), do not use Neosporin. 

While most people can take Neosporin and expect to have no problems, anyone who has a history of skin problems should consult a doctor before using it. Also, it should be remembered that Neosporin is designed to treat mild cuts and infections. It is not to be used in lieu of stitches or if there is a major infection. 

With side-effects an uncommon occurrence and hospitalization due to use extremely rare, Neosporin does what it was made to do and solidly earns its grade. If there is one downside, however, it would be in the case of overuse. As Neosporin has active antibacterial properties, it is feasible that using it enough could cause various strains of bacteria to evolve and become resistant.

Possible short-term side effects

  • skin irritation (rare)
  • burning (rare)
  • redness (rare)

Possible long-term side effects

  • bacteria may become resistant

Ingredients to be aware of

  • neomycin sulfate
  • polymyxin b
  • pramoxine
  • bacitracin


  • helps small wounds heal faster
  • stops/prevents bacterial infection
  • easy to use

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Written by Jeff Volling | 02-11-2016

Written by Jeff Volling
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