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Should I apply antibiotic gel to friction burns?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2600 Questions
I fell hard on carpeting and have several moderate-severe friction burns to the face; my doctor prescribed 'bioderm' an antibiotic gel but when I apply it the wounds turn a nasty light yellow colour for several hours.
When I don't apply the stuff the wounds are red but seem to be drying up and crusting over.
What should I do?
Continue the treatment, or let nature take its' course?
Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Prasad 7 hours later

Thanks for your query.

A few of the ointments can cause yellow staining of the wound due to chemical reactions or due to pigmentary staining of the skin. These reactions are tested and found to be safe.

Red colour appearance of the wound is due to presence of granulation tissue. It indicates healthy healing process and it's good news.

If the wound is still large or secreting discharge please continue the use of antibiotics. You probably could use Neosporin ointments that are not known to cause colour changes. But if the wound is a small one, you could leave it to dry and heal naturally.

Hope this answers your query. I will be available to answer your additional queries, should you have any.

Wish you speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Should I apply antibiotic gel to friction burns? 18 hours later
As of today, the wounds have dried over. I've heard 'aloe vera and neem leaf' lotion is an alternative for speeding the healing of such wounds.

Would it be wise to begin applying such lotions at this time given the improvement in the condition overnight?

Finally, how do you prevent scarring with such wounds since they are highly visible on my face.

Answered by Dr. Prasad 14 hours later
Hi and thanks again,

It's good to hear that the wounds have dried and healing.

'Aloevera' and 'Neem leaves' have been known to have medicinal properties. They have been used commonly by homeopathy experts since ages. I am not qualified to comment on the exact properties of these herbs. But there are lot of positive reports from people who have used these herbs. You may use them if the wound is still in the process of healing.

The amount of scar depends on burn wound. Superficial wounds hardly end up with scars, however if the wound was a XXXXXXX one, residual scars can be present. Such scars diminish gradually with use of regular anti scar creams.

If the scars remain then the options of treatment are:
1. Non surgical procedures such as Dermal fillers or dermabrasion can be tried, but its effectiveness cannot be confirmed now.
2. Cosmetic surgeries.

I hope you too agrees that it's too early to comment on the type of treatment or it's effectiveness. You may discuss about these with your primary doctor if needed.

Hope this answer is both useful and informative to you.

Wish you good and speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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