After the blister is drained, an ointment should be applied to reduce friction, soften crusting to maintain a moist healing environment, and act as a barrier to protect the wound. As long as the blister or erosion (open blister/sore) is not infected, personal preference will determine which ointment is most suitable.
- Bacitracin, Polysporin® or other over-the-counter antibiotic ointments serve as a topical antibiotic to prevent infection; act as a protective barrier; and maintain a moist wound environment to facilitate healing. If topical antibiotic ointments are used, they should be rotated every month or so to minimize the risk of developing resistant bacteria. Products that contain neomycin or bacitracin should be used cautiously as they may result in the development of an allergic reaction.
- Petroleum jelly (White Petrolatum, Vaseline®) probably is the least expensive ointment. It acts as a protective barrier and maintains a moist wound environment to facilitate healing.
- Aquaphor® (ingredients: petrolatum, mineral oil, ceresin, lanolin alcohol) is more expensive than petroleum jelly. Like petroleum jelly, it acts as a protective barrier and maintains a moist wound environment. Some people report that it feels less greasy then petroleum jelly.
- Zinc oxide products are widely used and reportedly promote healing, protect the wound and surrounding area and reduce drainage of fluid from particularly moist wounds. These are often used in the diaper area and on other parts of the body. Product choices include Triple Paste, Dermagran®, Desitin®, A&D with Zinc Ointment® and Balmex®.
- Emu oil has been a popular choice for years. Many people report it reduces inflammation, decreases scarring, facilitates healing and diminishes pain. It sounds too good to be true, but there are those with EB who swear by it.
- Vegetable oils such as Crisco® and olive oil have been used as emollients but are not generally recommended.
- Aloe vera products can be soothing and cooling. Some data suggests that aloe vera products decrease inflammation, aid wound healing, and have antimicrobial properties. There are rare reports of aloe vera causing contact dermatitis due to irritation or allergy.
- Alwyn Cream®, which contains allantoin, beeswax, cod liver oil, and lanolin, has been reported to reduce inflammation and aide wound healing.
Some products work better for some people more than others. Many people with EB report the best results when they rotate products; when one seems to stop being effective, they switch to another. Personal preference will determine which ointments you feel work best and which you choose to use on a given day.