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Neosporin Side Effects

Itching, stinging, and reddening of the skin are some of the problems that may occur with Neosporin first aid products. Any of these symptoms may indicate an allergic reaction. Although most problems are minor and easily treated, contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop serious side effects of Neosporin, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing.

An Introduction to Neosporin Side Effects

Just like any medicine, Neosporin® first aid products can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Neosporin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Possible Side Effects of Neosporin

People have a tendency to assume that Neosporin does not cause side effects because it is a widely available and frequently used nonprescription product. However, this is simply not the case. In fact, many healthcare providers now recommend that people avoid products with neomycin (including Neosporin), as neomycin is more likely than most other antibiotics to cause allergic reactions.
Some of the reported side effects with Neosporin first aid products include:
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Itching
  • Failure to heal
  • Swelling
  • Irritation
  • Stinging or burning (this is more likely with the products that contain pramoxine, a pain-relieving ingredient).
Any of these symptoms could indicate an allergic reaction. It can be difficult for you (and even your healthcare provider) to know if these are due to a reaction to the Neosporin or due to an infection or other problem -- which is one of the reasons that healthcare providers often recommend other products instead.
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