Ointments and the bloodstream query

  • Thread starter Dr Wu
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Can ointments cross the skin barrier.
This is probably the wrong forum to ask this question, but here goes: in the case of skin problems, boils, even open wounds possibly (?) can various ointments - antiseptic creams, for instance - get into the bloodstream? And if so, could this cause additional health problems? Thanks in advance.
 

Bystander

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See "topical/topical use only" warnings on tubes/jars.
 

fresh_42

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Can ointments cross the skin barrier.
At least parts of it, for otherwise it would be senseless to use them. However, in any case direct contact with open wounds, cuts or scratches, or even with conjunctiva or mucosa should usually strictly be avoided!

Even if they might not be a serious danger - and you cannot know, e.g. in the eyes, it is at least painful and an obstacle for the healing process.

We cannot give additional medical advice, since this would be irresponsible. All we can say are those common information. If in doubt, ask a doctor or a pharmacist, and study the package insert.

Thread closed.
 

berkeman

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I'll add a couple links about first aid, in case that helps the OP and others.

For prehospital EMS, we use sterile water to irrigate wounds and cover with sterile dressings for transport to the Emergency Department (ED) at the hospital. For Wilderness Medicine, we irrigate with water and treat with triple antibiotic ointment (or Bacitracin if the Patient has sulfur allergies), and cover with a sterile dressing. Burns generally do not get any ointments, since they need to be cleaned at the ED. Antiseptic wipes can be used for simple lacerations and abrasions, along with irrigation.


 

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