Bacitracin Vs. Neosporin: Which Is The Better Ointment For You?

Getting hurt and scraped up can be a huge hassle. No one likes to have to worry about getting a cut and the possibility of getting an infection due to an open wound. The first thing we run to do is put on some ointment and a bandage to keep the bacteria out and prevent infection. 

But there are two big names when it comes to ointments that prevent infections in cuts and wounds. Bacitracin and Neosporin are two of the biggest names in cut and wound care and are present in countless medicine cabinets. 

However, some people use them both synonymously, never sure which is better for what and why they are both on the market if they both do the same thing. Turns out, there's some major differences in Bacitracin and Neosporin and why we use each of them on our skin and body (via Healthline). It's all about what's in each of the ointments and what result we're most concerned with. 

What's the difference between Bacitracin and Neosporin?

Bacitracin and Neosporin share the fact that they are both over-the-counter ointments that are topical antibiotics. They both treat cuts and wounds to help prevent and treat infections. People usually use one or the other to prevent infections from cuts and scrapes, sometimes even when they have a bad burn, but neglect to realize that they both do different things. The similarity between the two is that you use them in the same way. You should clean your wound or cut and dry it, then apply the ointment and a bandaid on top. 

Bacitracin is different, however, in that it only has one ingredient: Bacitracin. It works to prevent infection on the skin. Neosporin, on the other hand, has three ingredients: bacitracin, neomycin, and polymixin b. Neomycin is a strong active ingredient that some may be allergic to, so there is a chance that individuals could have an allergic reaction to Neosporin (via Healthline). 

Neosporin also is different in that it not only prevents infection but can also treat already infected wounds and cuts. In addition, Neosporin can treat more types of bacteria than Bacitracin. In the end, if you want to use Neosporin over Bacitracin, make sure to check if you have an allergy to neomycin before using it.