Before we dive into our list of the best antibiotic ointments and creams, we’ll need to explain a few things first. We’ll go over some commonly asked questions about ointment vs cream and explain a little bit about what topical antibiotics are.

Ointment vs Cream

Ointment vs cream. What’s the difference? And which is better for you?
The main difference between ointment and cream is in the available oil and water content. Creams are about 50% water and 50% oil which allows for easy spreading and good absorption. Ointment, on the other hand, is made up of mainly oil, with as much as 80% oil to only 20% water. Ointments are often greasy and do not absorb well into the skin. Many infection-fighting antibiotics and other medicines used for healing come in the form of ointment. Neomycin and bacitracin are found in both creams and ointments to fight infections and various types of bacteria.

Multi-Use Creams

Determining whether you should use an ointment or cream depends a lot on your situation. If you have a skin condition that involves discharge (a wet skin condition), a cream would be your best bet. Since creams contain more water, they can evaporate more quickly after they are applied, unlike ointments, allowing your skin to breathe and the discharge to clear out. Also, if you have a lot of skin that needs to be covered, a cream will spread much more easily than an ointment since ointment is typically thicker.

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If you have severe dry skin, an ointment is probably your best option as it can keep the skin moist for longer. Ointments do not absorb very well. Instead, they typically stay on top of the skin and trap moisture. If you have a medical condition like shingles, acne, or toenail fungus, an ointment may help because its composition helps the medicated elements absorb into the skin. Ointments are generally more natural than creams and use fewer preservatives, so it’s less likely they’ll cause an allergic reaction.

Dry Skin

What is a topical cream or ointment?
A topical cream or ointment is one that is applied to a specific part of the body. While it’s common to seek out topical creams and ointments that specially target unique parts of the body, you may find that multi-use creams and ointment antibiotics are incredibly effective for treating multiple parts of the body and multiple conditions with equal effectiveness. In fact, many times, a multi-use cream can even act as topical cream antibiotics.

What should I be careful of in a topical cream or ointment?
Many ointments and creams use corticosteroids. Since corticosteroids are very strong, they have the potential to cause some serious side effects including skin atrophy, telangiectasias, striae, acne or rosacea-like eruptions, allergic contact dermatitis, and hypopigmentation. Systemic side effects are rare, but they can include glaucoma, hypothalamic pituitary axis suppression, cushing’s syndrome, hypertension, and hyperglycemia.

What should I look for in a topical cream or ointment?
Ideally, finding a treatment option that provides relief without harsh chemicals or steroids is best. The more natural the active and other ingredients are in your selected cream or ointment, the better they will be for your skin. Be careful to select a treatment option that doesn’t irritate your skin. Natural essential oils like fruit oil and tea tree oil can offer incredible benefits. Emu oil L-Lysine, and squalane can also provide natural relief. Pure colloidal silver acts like an antibiotic and as an active ingredient that can kill infections similar to topical antibiotics and other bacteria and infection-fighting medicines. All of these ingredients are found in emuaid first aid ointment, one of the best antibiotic creams available.