U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 44-year-old member asked:

Neosporin with vs without bacitracin zinc, what's the difference?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
Dermatology 58 years experience
NONE: Both worthless. Application to wounds, burns, surgery, or anything does not prevent or cure infections. They are among the most common agents that people are allergic to. They cross-react, so allergy to one often means allergy to the other. They often interfere with wound healing. Their use contributes to emerging antibiotic- resistant bacteria. Each has been "allergen of the year" in different ye

Similar questions

A 51-year-old member asked:

What are the differences between Neosporin with or without bacitracin zinc?

1 doctor answer9 doctors weighed in
Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
Dermatology 58 years experience
None: They are both useless and sometimes harmful. Throw them away. Studies on people with surgical wounds demonstrate clearly that application of vaseline or Aquaphor to wounds is superior to using aminoglycocide or polypeptide antibiotic ointments. The purveyors of these useless products should be ashamed of taking advantage of so many misled suckers.
Dr. Stephen Shapiro
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology 53 years experience
Jun 10, 2017
A 47-year-old member asked:

Why are there two kinds of neosporin? One with bacitracin zinc and one without?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Frank Armstrong
Dermatology 25 years experience
Antibiotic OTC s: There are essentially three common OTC antibiotic ointments. First is Bacitracin. Second is Polysporin (bacitracin and polymyxin) which is Bacitracin plus Polymyxin B. Neosporin, aka "Triple antibiotic" ointment is Bacitracin + Polymyxin B + Neomycin. Many people (perhaps 1 in 5) are allergic to Neomycin, therefore many dermatologists recommend other options. Aquaphor is a common choice and has no antibiotic in it.

Related questions

A 41-year-old female asked:
Is bacitracin better or Neosporin for cuts after stitches?
1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
A 41-year-old member asked:
What is better to put on a small wound infection, neosporin or bacitracin?
2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
A 47-year-old member asked:
Is it possible for me to put bacitracin or neosporin in my nose?
1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
A 31-year-old member asked:
Is bacitracin the same as neosporin?
3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Last updated Jan 24, 2020
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.