b. Hydrocortisone Cream and Ointment.
(1) Hydrocortisone is one of approximately thirty steroid hormones extracted
from the adrenal cortex (one of the two sections in each adrenal gland). Hydrocortisone
and other steroids from the adrenal cortex change the normal inflammatory responses
of the body by reducing inflammation. For application on the skin, this drug is available
in creams, lotions, talc, and ointments. When applied on the skin, skin inflammation is
reduced, but the cause of the inflammation is not cured. Medication containing
hydrocortisone relieves the symptoms of all kinds of allergic reactions. Since allergic
reactions are usually only temporary, hydrocortisone allows the patient to be largely
symptom-free while the allergy runs its natural course. Fungus skin diseases are
successfully treated with hydrocortisone.
(2) Some precautions should be taken when using steroids. Caution
patients not to get the drug near their eyes. If a patient's skin becomes irritated,
discontinue use of the steroid. Steroids such as hydrocortisone can be absorbed into a
person's system through the skin; therefore, watch for sudden increase in fat in the
patient's face or upper torso. Also watch for emotional or psychological changes in
patients. Do not use steroids if the patient has impaired circulation; steroids could
cause ulcers to form.
a. General. Anti-infective agents work to suppress local or superficial infections
only. These agents do not cure the disease, but they do remove the organisms causing
infection. Examples of such agents include antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic
b. Anti-infective Agents.
(1) Types of topical antibacterial agents include bacitracin ointment,
bacitracin-Neomycin ointment, polysporin topical ointment, and Neosporin ointment.
Bacitracin is an antibiotic obtained from Bacillus subtillis. Bacitracin is effective against
a broad spectrum of organisms including streptococci, staphylococci, and spirochetes.
Bacitracin ointment can be applied directly on a skin lesion. DO NOT use bacitracin on
a patient who is being treated with drugs for muscular problems or kidney problems.
(2) Mixtures of the antibiotics bacitracin, gramicidin, neomycin, and
polymyxin B are commonly used to treat superficial infections. Mixtures of these
antibiotics are very effective, and it is rare that organisms become resistant to
treatment. Preparations include the following:
(a) Neosporin, Neo-Polycin (Polymyxin B, Neosporin and Bacitracin) in
ointment, lotion, and powder form.
Neosporin G cream (Polymyxin B, Neomycin, Gramicidin).
Bacimycin ointment (Bacitracin, Neomycin).