Tetracycline ointment is an antibiotic in topical ointment form. It is used for the treatment and prevention of bacterial skin infections. For example, a person may use this ointment to prevent burns, cuts, and scrapes from becoming infected. In most cases, however, this medication is used for minor wounds rather than those that are more severe in nature. A person may also use this ointment to treat skin infections that have already developed.
An individual may use tetracycline ointment if he has a burn, cut, or other type of wound for the purpose of preventing the growth of bacteria in the wound area. If bacteria is allowed to grow in a wound, it may lead to an infection. Tetracycline is also used to treat a variety active skin infections.
A person who is using tetracycline cream for a skin infection usually is advised to contact his doctor if the ointment fails to improve the skin infection within about two weeks of use. An individual should take care to avoid getting the ointment in his eyes and use a cool-water flush to rinse the eyes if the ointment does get into them. Additionally, tetracycline is usually not recommended for use with deep types of wounds or burns that are severe.
Interestingly, when a person applies tetracycline to his skin, the ointment may turn the skin it touches yellow. A person can get rid of the yellow coloring by washing the tetracycline ointment off his skin with soap and water. Doctors usually advise patients to keep the ointment on their skin for as long as possible before they wash it off, however. This is due to the fact that the medication needs time to work to fight the infection. Additionally, tetracycline ointment can stain clothing permanently.
Tetracycline cream isn’t typically associated with many side effects, and most people tolerate it well. When it does cause side effects, they may include such things as redness and irritation. In rare cases, a person may also develop blistering or peeling after using this type of antibiotic ointment. Some may experience pain in the area of use as well.
There aren't many things that cause problematic interactions with ointments that contain tetracycline. People are usually advised to avoid using steroid hormone skin products with topical tetracycline, however. Additionally, a person may do well to consult with a doctor before using any other skin product in conjunction with tetracycline ointment.