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Antibiotics for burns of varying degrees: which ones are necessary for a speedy recovery?
Antibiotics for burns of varying degrees: which ones are necessary for a speedy recovery?

Burns do not always require the use of antibacterial drugs. Many make the mistake of using these: antibiotics are potent substances that have strict indications and contraindications.

Why use antibiotics for burns?

Antibiotic therapy is used in the treatment and prevention of infections of various types. The latter easily enter the body through open wounds. Dead tissue at the site of injury is an ideal breeding ground for pathogens.

The bacteria interfere with wound healing, contribute to excessive scarring, and sometimes pose a threat to the victim's life.

However, potent medications are not always advisable. Human skin has powerful protective properties and in most cases can cope with infections on its own.

But in some cases, antibiotic therapy is necessary:

  1. Deep and large-scale lesions of mucous membranes, skin, internal organs. The loss of a large area of tissues leads to a violation of the metabolic functions of the body, immune defense, in particular anti-infectious;
  2. Elderly age;
  3. The presence of chronic infections;
  4. Diabetes;
  5. Lack of treatment for the burn and, as a result, its complication.

But antibiotics are not used in the following situations:

  • deep but limited damage;
  • burn less than 10% of the body surface;
  • 1st degree burns (epidermal).

The doctor, when assessing the need for antibiotic therapy, takes into account the following factors:

  1. Depth, extent of the wound;
  2. The degree of the burn;
  3. The presence of complications;
  4. Age, immune status of the victim;
  5. Type, severity of complications;
  6. The patient's sensitivity to antibacterial agents.

What antibiotics are used for burns?

In the overwhelming majority, preparations based on silver sulfadiazine are used.

Therapy can be local (external), systemic and, in especially severe cases, combined.

External treatment involves dressings with solutions of iodopyrone and iodovidone 1%. Ointments based on dioxidine and chloramphenicol are also used.

Systemic therapy involves taking drugs by mouth and / or their intravenous / intramuscular administration. Such treatment is carried out only in a hospital under the supervision of doctors.

Systemic therapy is carried out only in the presence of deep wounds that occupy more than 10% of the body area. If the infection is mild, intramuscular injections are limited.

Otherwise, intravenous medication is used. Systemic treatment is carried out with the following medications:

  • semi-synthetic penicillins;
  • sulbactam and cefoperazone (often a combination);
  • aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones;
  • cephalosporins of the last generation;
  • lincomycin for bone damage;
  • "Nystatin" or "Fluconazole" for fungal infection.

Avoiding antibacterial treatment for burns

Without therapy, the infection will not disappear without a trace. If the doctor prescribed antibiotic therapy, and the patient refused them, the following complications may occur:

  • lymphadenitis;
  • sepsis;
  • myocarditis;
  • purulent arthritis;
  • pulmonary / bronchial diseases;
  • infections of the genitourinary system.

Basically, therapy involves the use of one type of drug. Several different medications are prescribed only in the presence of an infection, its severe course.

Local treatment of burns: basic principles

The tools used are divided into several groups according to the current principle:

  • antibacterial and antiseptic. Antiseptics widely used for burns: iodine preparations - "Iodinol", "Betadin", ointment "Vokadin"; preparations based on ammonium salt - "Rokkal", "Etoniy", "Katapol"; silver preparations - Poviargol gel and solution, Silvederm ointment and cream, Dermazin;
  • compositions for stimulating regeneration (healing) - aerosol "Panthenol", propolis, sea buckthorn oil, "Solcoseryl", "Actovegin";
  • composite agents combining antibacterial and healing effects - "Olazol", "Levomekol", "Amprovizol", "Argakol".

Modern remedies: antibacterial / antiseptic drugs

Betadine ointment

Based on povidone iodine, a modern alternative to traditional iodine. "Betadine" is a broad-spectrum agent that is active against many pathogens. Treatment involves treating the wound with a thin layer of ointment several times a day.


Includes a copolymer with crotonic acid and benzalkonium chloride in povidone. Like the previous drug, it is active against many bacteria. Treatment of burns is carried out with an aqueous solution of 1% (dilute the solution with 10% distilled water). The medicinal solution is soaked in tampons, napkins and gauze dressings to protect the wound.


Broad spectrum antibacterial drug. For ease of use, it is produced in the form of an aerosol, cream and ointment. The medicine belongs to sulfanilamide, the active substance in the composition is sulfadiazine. Antibacterial activity is provided by silver ions.

Healing remedies


At the moment, it is the most popular remedy for accelerating the regeneration of damaged tissues. In the treatment of burns, two forms of the drug are used: ointment and gel. The healing edges of the wound are treated with the ointment, and the wound surface itself is treated with the gel. Processing is carried out up to 2 times a day. After the oozing has passed, you can only use the ointment.


Another popular tissue regeneration stimulant. The composition of the drug includes B vitamins and dexpanthenol. "Panthenol" improves cell regeneration, stimulates metabolic processes in tissues, and also has a slight anti-inflammatory effect. You can use a cream or aerosol. The cream is easily absorbed, so it is more convenient to use it for painful sun and light burns. The aerosol is sprayed from a short distance.

Composite medicines


A preparation in the form of a hydrogel based on antiseptic substances: catapol, dioxidine, poviargol (silver preparation). Argakol is a potent antibacterial agent that can heal not only burns, but also abrasions / cuts.

After treatment, an air and water-permeable elastic film forms on the body, which can be easily washed off with water.

Aerosol "Amprovizol"

Includes menthol, anesthesin, propolis and vitamin D. Due to the combination of active substances, the drug has a cooling, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory effect, accelerates regeneration. The aerosol is recommended for use in case of 1st degree solar / thermal burns.


Positioned as a wound healing agent; a combined foam preparation containing sea buckthorn oil. Olazol is available in aerosol form for ease of use. The tool has an antibacterial and anesthetic effect, and also improves regeneration, accelerates epithelialization and reduces exudation.

With uninfected 2nd degree burns, it is required to make atraumatic and wet-drying dressings with antiseptic or antibiotic solutions. You can also use hydrogel coatings.

Damage of the 2nd degree can be treated with ointments / emulsions that have analgesic and bactericidal effects (eg Agrosulfan, silver sulfazine 1%, Levosin, Levomekol).

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