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Skin Care and Diseases

Antiseptic soaps and creams

01/03/2007

Question:

I am taking Arthrotec, Methotrexate, Plaquinel, Prednisone, Coversyl and Tiazac. I have been getting alot of small infections lately. Any small scratch or cut gets infected now.

Can you tell me what is the best way to avoid these infections? Should I be using an anticptic soap or cream when I get a cut?

Answer:

Cuts may take scab and take a longer time to heal for many reasons, including your age, what medications you are on, your general health status and other medical conditions, and your nutritional status.

It is unclear what you mean by “a lot of small infections”. What many people call “infections” often aren’t. The fact that you are on medications that can alter your immune system may have an effect on wound healing. I would recommend you see your board certified dermatologist for evaluation of your skin to rule out active infections of the skin (such as staphylococcus or streptococcus skin infections).

Using an antibacterial soap can be helpful if you are “colonized” by certain bacteria that can cause skin infections. In addition, using an antibacterial ointment such as bacitracin (for example, Polysporin) and neomycin (for example, in Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment) on cuts can help if you are truly prone to infection. If there is no infection, plain white petrolatum (for example Vaseline) can be helpful in wound healing.

If there are any doubts, see your doctor.

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Response by:

Pranav   Sheth, MD Pranav Sheth, MD
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati