When you were young and scraped your knee, chances are your mother remedied your cuts with a band-aid and a dab of Neosporin. It seemed to take away the pain and made your cuts heal in the blink of an eye. Now you're older and dealing with acne. It would make sense to use Neosporin to heal your acne scars and blemishes. Or, should Neosporin only be used on cuts?
What Is Neosporin
Neosporin is an antibiotic ointment has been on the market for over 25 years and is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Its specialized formula is comprised of three different types of antibiotics, neomycin, polymyxin B and bacitracin, and is generally used as a first aid tool to keep dirt and germs out of cuts and abrasions.
Neosporin and Acne Scars
There is no conclusive evidence that Neosporin can work to heal acne and erase acne scars for good. Its chemical formula is much stronger and doesn't dry out the face as much as normal acne treatments, which contain ingredients like benzyl peroxide. Some who have used Neosporin have reported that it helped reduce the redness and appearance of acne. However, others say it has made their acne worse, likely due to its petroleum oil base that can further clog pores if used on large portions of the face. Johnson & Johnson recommends users refrain from putting Neosporin on large areas of the body for extended periods of time.
Best Use for Neosporin on Acne
Because Neosporin can reduce redness and induce healing, people can use it in small quantities to help prevent acne scars. The best way to do this is to dab a small bit of Neosporin on a freshly-popped pimple. The Neosporin will work to keep out bacteria and reduce redness in the short term.
How to Heal Acne Without Neosporin
Don't rely on Neosporin every time you have a pimple. The best way to keep acne at bay and keep it from returning is to use a specialized skin-care regimen that includes a cleanser, toner and moisturizer, plus specialized acne treatments formulated with benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These reduce bacteria in the skin and eliminate oil and bacteria.
Other Acne Scar Treatments
If you have noticeable acne scarring, it's best to work with your dermatologist to reduce the appearance of the scars. Your doctor can look at the severity of your acne scarring and recommend treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and prescription-only topical creams that are specially designed to renew your skin. This way you can leave your Neosporin in the medicine cabinet and only use it when you have a cut or scrape on your body that you need to heal.
Lea Winters has written professionally since 2003. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, covering entertainment, style and beauty topics. Winters holds a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Science in international business from the University of Nebraska.