Polymyxin and bacitracin skin ointment (Polyfax)

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Use the ointment twice a day unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Only apply it to the areas of skin which are infected.

You should notice an improvement within about 4-5 days.

Type of medicineAn anti-infective skin cream
Used forSkin infections
Also calledPolyfax®
Available asOintment

Polymyxin and bacitracin ointment (Polyfax®) is used to treat skin infections caused by bacteria. By treating the infection, it will allow your skin to heal.

To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using the ointment it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a skin cream/ointment, or to any other medicine.
  • If you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
  • If you are using any other skin preparations. This includes any preparations you are using which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the ointment and a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from using it.
  • Your doctor will tell you how often to use the cream. It is usual to apply it twice daily, although it may be more frequently than this if your doctor thinks it necessary. Only apply it to the areas of skin which are infected.
  • You should notice your skin starting to get better within a few days. If you haven't noticed any improvement after 4-5 days, check with your doctor for further advice.

On occasion, the ointment may cause some minor skin irritation. If the irritation becomes troublesome or severe, stop using it and ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
  • Do not store any ointment left over at the end of your treatment for another time.

This preparation is for use on the skin only. If someone swallows some of it by accident, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine, ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Hannah Gronow
Document ID:
3738 (v25)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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