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If I had stitches for a skin procedure, is Vaseline better to use than Neosporin or other topical antibiotic?


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MedHead Message:

For years, we’ve been told that Vaseline is better than antibiotics for preventing wound infections. However, a large Cochrane analysis shows that indeed, antibiotic ointments do slightly prevent post-operative skin infections over no antibiotics, including Vaseline. There are more skin reactions and allergies to neosporin or polysporin, and the decrease in infections is only slightly less, but significant nonetheless. Time to change our habits, again.


1. Jacob, SE, et. al. Bacitracin after clean surgical procedures may be risky. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 51, Issue 6, 1036. 2. Heal CF, Banks JL, Lepper PD, Kontopantelis E, van Driel ML. Topical antibiotics for preventing surgical site infection in wounds healing by primary intention. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD011426. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011426.pub2.


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