Compare Polysporin vs. Neosporin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Helps prevent skin infections in small cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Polysporin (bacitracin and polymyxin B) is a cheap over-the-counter antibacterial ointment that helps prevent skin infections in small cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Helps prevent infection in minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Neosporin (neomycin / polymyxin / bacitracin) is an effective, over-the-counter, first-line infection prevention in minor scrapes, cuts, and burns.

Upsides
  • 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 help your wound heal faster.
  • Comes in a ointment, cream, foam and spray.
  • Is available over-the-counter.
  • A more affordable generic option is also available.
  • Comes in formulations that can also help treat pain, itch, and scars.
Downsides
  • 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 not be effective for large or deep cuts.
Used for
  • Minor cuts
  • Minor scrapes
  • Minor burns
Dosage forms
  • Ointment
  • Powder
  • Cream
  • Ointment
  • Foam
  • Spray
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Polysporin (bacitracin and polymyxin B) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Neosporin (neomycin / polymyxin / bacitracin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Skin rash
  • Use only on your skin
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Allergic reaction
  • Use in serious wounds
  • Long-term use
See more detailed risks and warnings