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What Are the Uses of Mupirocin Cream?

By A. Gamm
Updated May 17, 2024
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Mupirocin cream is a prescription only antibiotic cream that prevents certain types of bacteria from producing in infected skin wounds. While it works for a variety of skin infections, the most common use is for treating impetigo and furuncle. It has no known effect on viral or fungal infections on the skin as of 2011. Nasal versions of Mupirocin have been proven effective in treating methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The Mupirocin ointment is used to stop bacteria from growing in cuts and wounds that have become infected. It is chiefly prescribed for infections that formed after an injury has begun to heal and have become infected during the process. The Mupirocin cream works by preventing the production of proteins and RNA synthesis used by the bacteria for its growth. As of 2011 it has only shown to be effective in treating bacterial skin infections topically, which means ingestion is not recommended for treatment and may prove to be harmful to one's health if taken orally.

A version of the Mupirocin cream is used through the nose. Its primary purpose is to fight off MRSA in health care providers and adult patients in places like nursing homes or hospitals where an outbreak may occur. Although regular Mupirocin cream is safe for children, the nasal ointment is not recommended for children under the age of 12. There is a general acknowledgement that the Mupirocin nasal ointment may have additional benefits, but as of 2011 it is agreed that more clinical trials may be needed.

Treating skin infections with Mupirocin cream typically requires a specific care procedure. Prior to application, health care professionals normally recommend cleaning the infected area and drying thoroughly. A thin layer of the Mupirocin is then applied over the wound, and a bandage may be used to cover the area if desired. Doctors usually recommended that this process is repeated no more than three times a day unless otherwise specified.

It is important to use the Mupirocin cream for the exact amount of time a medical professional suggests. This is because stopping the ointment sooner may allow the bacteria to continue to grow. Using the cream longer may also allow the bacteria to form a resistance to the active ingredients in the Mupirocin cream, and a new infection may arise. Typically, after three to five days of use, a doctor should evaluate the infection and discuss further courses of action.

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