Basic creams and ointments everyone should have in their medicine cabinet


Everyone has a first-aid kit or bug-out bag ready to go in case of emergencies. Every medical kit is stashed with decongestants, medicine for fever, cold or flu. Other than these prescription medicines, you must also have tools to treat minor or severe cuts, burns, bug bites, skin rashes or disorders, allergies and hemorrhoids. Here is a list of creams and ointments which are must-haves when it comes to dealing with potential emergencies.

For rashes, bug bites and other skin irritations.

  • Calamine lotion
    This old-fashioned pink liquid relieves irritation from rashes and bites, as well as drying up weepy rashes like those from poison ivy.
  • Antihistamine cream
    You can use ones like Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream, which gives relief from intense itching, or ones that are a combination of calamine and antihistamine, for example Ivarest.
  • Corticosteroids
    These are used to treat eczema and other skin diseases. Corticosteroids are available in a variety of formulations, such as foams, lotions, ointments, and creams.
  • Non-steroidal ointments
    Crisaborole (Eucrisa) and tacrolimus (Protopic) ointments, as well as pimecrolimus (Elidel) cream, are used to treat eczema and atopic dermatitis.
  • Retinoids
    Retinoids such as Differin, Retin-A, and Tazorac are vitamin A-based gels, foams, lotions, or creams that are used to treat acne and other skin disorders.
  • Antifungal creams
    These prove to be quite effective in curing athlete’s foot than powders or sprays. Micatin and Lotrimin are the two most popular brands.

For cuts and burns.

  • Antibiotic ointments
    These can be applied to the wound to kill bacteria. Topical Neosporin, an antibiotic ointment, helps protect and moisturize a closed wound or small burn.
  • Aloe vera gel
    Aloe vera is a cactus plant that thrives in warm areas. Since ancient times, it has been used to treat acute wounds. In case of first-degree burns or small second-degree burns at home, aloe-vera gel can be used to soothe the area. There are various aloe vera gels available in the market.
  • Sunscreens
    When you're outside, always use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. You can get a red, itchy burn that may blister if you stay outside for too long without sunscreen. Lotions containing petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine should be avoided. These substances have the potential to irritate the skin even more.
  • Antifungals
    Topical antifungals are used to treat fungal infections which may be caused due to minor cuts or burns. Clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, tioconazole, terbinafine, and amorolfine are some of the antifungals used. They are available under a variety of brand names.

For sprains and strains

Sprains and strains are common injuries that cause pain, muscle cramps, inflammation and welling. In minor cases, the muscle or ligament tends to heal by itself, however, there may be a slight pain. To cure a damaged ankle, strained neck, or bruised knee, avoid taking pain relievers. You can use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) with or without menthol which creates a cooling sensation. Topical NSAIDs are available in gel, liquid, or patch form; diclofenac gel (Voltaren Arthritis Pain) and aspirin cream are non-prescription options.

For Hemorrhoids

Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter lotions, ointments, suppositories, or pads if your hemorrhoids are only causing minor discomfort. These medicines contain chemicals including witch hazel, hydrocortisone, and lidocaine, which help reduce pain and irritation for a short time.

Minor injuries occur on a daily basis, majority of which can be treated at home. However, you must know what to do and have the necessary supplies to deal with them quickly and calmly.