Allergic Contact Dermatitis and Topical Antibiotics

J. Desiree Douglas, MPA, PA-C

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Dermatology Nursing 

In This Article

Cross-sensitivity

Cross-sensitivity is again common. Patients with a bacitracin sensitivity may experience sensitivities against neomycin, gentamicin, kanamycin, streptomycin, spectinomycin, tobramycin, paromomycin, and butirosin. The physiology for this is unclear; however, some theorize patients become sensitized simultaneously to two allergens because they use multiple antibiotics at the same time or they are contained in a combination product, such as Neosporin (Marks et al., 2002; Rietschel & Fowler, 2008). Polymyxin should also be avoided since it and bacitracin are both obtained from Bacillus subtilis and crossreaction may be seen (Rietschel & Fowler, 2008).

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