When you hear the term “triple antibiotic ointment,” you think, “triple the power.” That’s in fact true: these popular wound healing ointments indeed feature a triple-acting formula that purports to heal cuts and scrapes faster, all while ensuring that a wound doesn’t become infected. However, “triple” doesn’t always mean “better.” Read about how in many ways, triple antibiotic ointments can also mean “triple the problems” — and how there are natural alternatives that are actually stronger and safer.
The Problem With “TAOs”
Triple antibiotic ointments (TAO) are applied externally to surface wounds such as burns, cuts, and scrapes, and are most popularly marketed under the brand name Neosporin. TAOs are a combination of three active ingredients: bacitracin zinc, neomycin sulfate, and polymyxin B sulfate. (Source: drugs.com)
For the majority of people, using a triple antibiotic ointment will not lead to any adverse health issues, however, approximately 10 percent of users will develop an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in the formula—neomycin or bacitracin—which could make the original wound or burn much worse. Severe cases may even require hospital treatment.
Neomycin is the leading medication in bestselling triple antibiotic ointments on the market today. The antibiotic was declared the Contact Allergen of the Year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) in 2010.
Bacitracin is the second most common antibiotic found in triple antibiotic treatments. In 2003, the American Contact Dermatitis Association (ACDA) named bacitracin its Allergen of the Year after increasing reports of allergy and anaphylaxis. By 2010, bacitracin ranked third on the North American Contact Dermatitis Group Patch Test Results, which tests more than 4,000 patients across the United States; 9.2 percent of the patients had a reaction to bacitracin. In some cases, the allergic reaction can be so severe that it requires emergency medical attention.
Read about -> Watch Out for Nasty Neosporin Reaction
What’s Better Than “Triple?” “Quadruple?”
The stronger, safer alternatives to TAOs aren’t simply an increased amount of antibacterial agents or chemicals. Nature herself provides superior antibiotic ingredients that are in many cases more powerful than their laboratory-manufactured counterparts.
While 10 percent of triple antibiotic ointment users are adversely affected by antibiotics such as Neomycin and Bacitracin, natural alternatives to TAOs, such as CUROXEN, do not cause allergic reactions and will help the wound heal using natural ingredients such as oxygenated olive oil, lavender and calendula oil. These essential oils work to both kill bacteria and promote healing without using harmful chemicals or potential allergens.
In addition, natural wound healing ointments like CUROXEN do not contribute to the issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” which are the result of the overuse of antibacterial products.
There’s no doubt that modern therapies and remedies have improved the overall health of humanity. However, whenever we can draw on the strength and safety of natural products, it’s a win-win scenario for avoiding overuse of antibiotics as well as reducing the risk of an adverse allergic reaction that does more harm than good.