Safe topical skin treatments

Topical antibiotics and wipes or antifungal wipes do not cure problems but manage symptoms. There are many side effects of antibiotic topicals and antifungal topicals not the least of which is that use of these topicals can actually cause the opposite infection. If you frequently use a topical antibacterial, you will favor the growth of yeast, and vice versa.

Try one of these safe topical treatments instead:

Tea tree oil diluted at least 50% topically has antifungal properties and can be used to treat ringworm or other fungi. DO NOT USE UNDILUTED; it burns the hair and skin.

Aloe vera from the plant or from a bottle has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is great for hot spots, sores, itching lesions of any kind.

Calendula is antibacterial and antifungal also and has benefit with abrasions or mildly open sores as it has strong healing properties. This plant can be found at health food stores in tincture, cream, or ointment. It has strong epithialization properties and works better to close wounds than anything else I have experienced.

Olive leaf extract comes in capsules or tablets orally and is effective against bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.

The benefit of the above topical skin treatments is that they do not disturb the natural checks and balances of the skin. Drugs are not selective in their killing of bugs, they kill the good and the bad. We need the normal bacteria and yeast that normally exists on our skin to keep each other in check.

This is why so many dogs who get chronic treatment with antibiotics end up with yeast or malessezia infections of their skin or ears. Ever chased an ear infection that started out as a bacterial infection then became a yeast infection? or vice versa? It’s the same phenomena.

The killing of secondary bacterial or yeast infections does not treat the underlying imbalance of allergies and you are destined to fight a life long battle with this strategy.

Remember, all topical treatments are often not deeply curative for the condition, but they are safe alternatives to the drugs, wipes etc. in common use that do not cure at all.

Robin L. Cannizzaro D.V.M., C.V.A.
June 9, 2004