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How Do I Choose the Best Antiseptic Creams?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated Feb 27, 2024
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The best antiseptic creams contain aloe vera, an analgesic compound, and zinc. Aloe vera moisturizes injured skin and promotes healing across wound surfaces. Analgesic gels numb the skin around the injury while healing occurs and provides relief from itching and burning. Zinc fights gram positive bacteria and prevents infection from settling into exposed, damaged areas.

Antiseptic creams contain both moisturizing ointments and antibacterial chemicals. They may be smoothed over an open wound or any area of skin irritation to provide physical relief and discourage the growth of bacteria and fungus until the skin can repair itself. This type of treatment is commonly used on sunburns, bug bites, mild eczema, and minor cuts and burns. These creams are designed for topical application only, and should not be ingested orally.

Aloe vera is one of the most important ingredients that should be incorporated into the best antiseptic creams. This liquid gel, extracted from the thick leaves of a cactus like plant of the same name, accelerates the healing process of the affected skin. When applied to open skin wounds, such as cuts, burns, and sores, it accelerates the time required for the tissue to regenerate new, healthy epithelial layers. It also naturally discourages infection and causes dead skin cells to slough off quickly, allowing for the growth of new, healthy cells. Aloe is also commonly used as a moisturizer and reduces the sensation of painful heat that is associated with severe sunburns and minor burns.

These creams should contain a small amount of pain relieving ointment. Lidocaine and pramoxine are two examples of chemicals commonly found in some antiseptic creams that have analgesic properties. This ingredient helps to alleviate the pain, itching, and burning that often accompany many different types of minor injuries. Once the healing process begins, the wound may continue to have an itching sensation as new skin cells begin to replicate. Wounds that have been treated with antibacterials and covered with bandages should not be scratched to avoid further irritation and increased risk of infection.

The product label of multi-purpose creams will also include a chemical ingredient that utilizes zinc. Zinc Calx, zinc oxide, and bacitracin zinc are three different chemical uses of this ingredient that are found in different types of antiseptic creams. It cannot be dissolved easily in water and clings to the applied wound, promoting healing and protection. This quality also greatly reduces its ability to cause skin irritation or allergic reaction in the patient. It is capable of destroying gram positive bacteria which may attempt to invade the open wound area.

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