These days we try so many things to beautify our skin including whitening and anti-aging creams, lotions, face washes and much more. In fact, believe it or not, we do so much to our skin that many of us are at even greater risk for skin infections!
The Important Role of Skin
Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? Our skin plays many important roles, one of them being to protect us from germs of all kinds. The skin is constantly coming in contact with dirty surfaces may get scratches and cuts. Good healthy skin protects us from most bacteria and viruses; if healthy skin does get damaged, it usually heals without a lot of trouble. However, there are times when those pesky bacteria and viruses manage to get through our skin’s defences.
Some common types of skin infections that we may have come across are caused by:
- Bacteria: They cause Cellulitis and impetigo. Staphylococcal infections can also affect the skin.
- Virus: These cause infections like shingles, warts, and herpes simplex
- Fungus: Cause athlete’s foot and yeast infections
- Parasites: They can affect the skin like body lice, head lice, and scabies
- Common skin allergies
Treating Skin Infections with Over the Counter Drugs
Treatment of skin infections depends on the cause. Non-prescription drugs can be used for some infections and are also known as over-the-counter (OTC) medications. OTC medications are typically used for symptomatic relief of minor health conditions, including headaches, colds and fever. OTC medications usually cost much less than prescription medications and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means they are held to high standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.
Important facts to consider with OTC medications
Before you decide to use non-prescription drugs to treat your skin infection, do take the following into consideration:
- - OTC medications should only be used as directed and when needed.
- - Taking any other medications alongside prescription medications may be dangerous as they can react against each other. Ensure you consult your physician or pharmacist accordingly.
- - Read all labels and packaging instructions for OTC medications to know how much you should take, when to take it, what side-effects you may encounter and what potential interactions you may have with other drugs.
- - The recommended dosage should never be exceeded.
- - Be sure to store medications in a cool, dry and secure place.
- - Throw away medications that have expired.
- - Keep all medications in their original containers to avoid taking the wrong medicine.
Generally common skin infections that can be treated with OTC medication
- Itching skin – Hydrocortisone Cream can be used as it soothes itching from bug bites and rashes due to shaving. Another non-prescription drug is Calamine lotion. It dries the oozing and weeping of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
- Scrapes & Skin Infections – Antibiotic ointments or oral medications may be used. They help prevent infections in wounds.
If a health problem persists or worsens while taking an OTC medication, consult your health care provider immediately.
Please feel free to share your experiences or recommendations in the comments below.
(Image courtesy of Marcus Quigmire)