Compare Polysporin vs. Bactroban
Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.
Polysporin (bacitracin and polymyxin B) is a cheap over-the-counter antibacterial ointment that helps prevent skin infections in small cuts, scrapes, and burns.
Compared to over-the-counter first aid topical antibiotics, Bactroban (mupirocin) can kill a larger variety of bacteria and is a good alternative if you're allergic to certain ingredients in OTC products.
- Polysporin (bacitracin and polymyxin B) is available over-the-counter and as a generic.
- It helps prevent skin infections from forming in small cuts, scrapes, or burns.
- It is easy to use and causes few side effects.
- Can kill more types of bacteria than over-the-counter first aid topical antibiotics.
- Works well at preventing resistant bacteria (bacteria that is hard to treat) in your nose from spreading to other areas.
- Is generally a tolerable medicine. Few people experience side effects.
- Polysporin (bacitracin and polymyxin B) can only be used for small cuts, scrapes, or burns. It can’t be used for large and serious skin infections, deep wounds or cuts, animal bites, or serious burns.
- It might cause a skin rash in some people.
- You need to wash your hands before and after using Polysporin (bacitracin and polymyxin B).
- May be more expensive than some over-the-counter first-aid topical antibiotics.
- You have to remember to apply this 3 times a day for skin infections, and 2 times a day for bacteria in the nose.
- Stuffy nose6%
- Lung or breathing problems5%
- Sore throat4%
- Taste changes3%
- Burning/ Stinging2%
- Skin rash
- Use only on your skin
- Allergic reaction
- Eye irritation
- Irritation at the application site
- Severe diarrhea
- New bacteria or fungi
- Long-term use of Bactroban (mupirocin)
- Use in the nose