Comparison of topical antibiotic ointments, a wound protectant, and antiseptics for the treatment of human blister wounds contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus

J J Leyden, N M Bartelt
Journal of Family Practice 1987, 24 (6): 601-4
An open, randomized, human-model study was conducted to compare the effects of topical antibiotics, a wound protectant, and antiseptics on the rate of wound healing and bacterial growth using a modification of a method employing ammonium hydroxide-induced intradermal blisters inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus. Each volunteer in the study had six blister wounds (three per forearm) to which a triple antibiotic (neomycin, polymyxin B, bacitracin) ointment or one of four other test agents was applied twice a day. A control wound remained untreated. All wounds were covered with an occlusive dressing after treatment. The time to healing (100 percent epithelialization) was evaluated for each wound. Wounds were cultured for bacterial growth after two treatments. Contaminated blister wounds treated with the triple antibiotic ointment healed significantly faster (mean nine days) than wounds treated with any antiseptic and those receiving no treatment. Only the neomycin-polymyxin B-bacitracin combination effectively eliminated bacterial contamination of the wounds after two applications (within 16 to 24 hours after contamination with Staphylococcus aureus). The overall clinical appearance and healing rates of wounds treated with the triple antibiotic were ranked superior to all treatments (and no treatment) except the other antibiotic ointment in the study.

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