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What is Antibacterial Cream?

Some people use antibacterial creams on their acne outbreaks.
A tube of antibacterial cream.
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  • Written By: Jodee Redmond
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 March 2014
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An antibacterial cream is used to prevent cuts and scratches from becoming infected. This product can also be used on insect bites, diaper rash, fever blisters, burns, and scalding injuries. Some people even use it to treat acne breakouts. Antibacterial cream contains an antiseptic substance designed to kill bacteria. An antiseptic is not the same thing as an antibiotic, which is a medicine prescribed to kill microorganisms and is given after an infection is already present.

Bacteria are present in the air, water, and soil. They are also found on plants and animals. To see bacteria, you would need to use a powerful microscope. There are three kinds of bacteria: coccus, bacillus, and spirilum. Coccus bacteria have a round shape. Bacillus are shaped like rods, and spirilum look like spirals when magnified.

Anthony Van Leeuwenhoek is credited as being the first person to discover bacteria in 1683. He called them animalcules, since they looked like animals to him. He didn't know exactly what they were, and it took science another two centuries to appreciate the significance of his discovery.

One of the properties of bacteria are that they divide and reproduce quickly. Some forms can divide four times each hour, which means that the bacteria can spread quite quickly if the wound were left untreated for even a short time. Using an antibacterial cream as soon as possible will kill bacteria in the wound and help it to heal faster than if it were left untreated.

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You can find antibacterial cream at your local pharmacy. There are natural substances that can be used to make an antibiotic cream, such as tea tree oil. This ingredient is also known as melaleuca oil and is made by steaming the leaves of the melaleuca plant, which is native to Australia.

Lemon oil is another natural product that is sometimes used to make antibacterial cream. It is an essential oil that is used to kill airborne bacteria and can be added to drinking water as a liver detoxifier. Lemon oil can be sprayed into the air to kill airborne bacteria as well.

Eucalyptus oil is another substance that may be found on the ingredient list for antibacterial cream. This substance is derived from eucalyptus trees, which are native to Australia. The eucalyptus oil helps to reduce swelling and relieves pain in the area around the wound.

To use an antibacterial cream, simply apply a thin layer to the affected area. You can put a bandage over top if you wish. Check the instructions on the product packaging to find out how often to reapply the product.

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Discuss this Article

StreamFinder
Post 3

How do I choose a good antibacterial cream? I am just looking for a good all-purpose one to keep around, something I can get over the counter and have on hand for random emergencies.

Suggestions?

lightning88
Post 2

@Earlyforest -- I think it's the kind of thing where you just have to try for a happy medium.

There are newer strains of bacteria developing all the time, many of which are resistant because of the widespread use of antibacterial products, but this doesn't mean you should stop using them entirely.

Basically, as long as you use the products sparingly, according to the instructions, you should be ok.

If you are really concerned about it, you can try using a less harsh variant of antibacterial cream, or one made of natural ingredients.

EarlyForest
Post 1

Is it safe to use antibacterial creams and hand soaps on a regular basis?

I have heard that by doing that, it forces the bacteria to evolve into stronger, more resistant forms, which just leads to worse infections and sicknesses.

Should I believe the hype, or is this just an exaggeration?

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