Ichthammol ointment is one of the many medicines that is used to treat a variety of skin ailments. Continue reading this HealthHearty article to know more about this product.
There are various skin disorders and problems, which may arise due to medical conditions, or insect bites. One of the treatment methods to deal with such problems is the ichthammol ointment. The product is prepared from sulfuric shale (defined as a sedimentary rock formed by the deposition of successive layers of clay). Beeswax or paraffin is used as a carrier. Also known as the black drawing salve (because of its appearance), this ointment is believed to possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Arnica, and vitamin E may also be among the active ingredients. These substances add to the healing property of the ointment.
The reason this product is known as black drawing salve, is its property to get rid of infections which may be caused by minor wounds on humans and animals. The most common use of the ointment is in the treatment of insect bites and stings. Spider bites are common in many parts of the world. Some of these insects may be highly poisonous and may give rise to a critical situation. Until medical help arises, it is wise to treat the bite with this ointment.
It would help in drawing out the venom. In case of stings, bees are the common offenders. Apart from these, wasps, hornets, etc., can also leave a sharp sting on the body. So, as soon as you spot the bitten area, apply the ointment to it. However, it is recommended to clean the area thoroughly before applying, and cover it with a bandage after applying it. Also, the area has to be undressed, cleaned, and applied with the ointment, until the wound has healed.
Ichthammol ointment is also widely used for boils. Boils are nothing but an infection that occur at the hair follicles. Applying the cream to the swollen area helps in drawing out the pus to the surface, thus getting rid of the infection. Other uses of this ointment include:
- Getting rid of slivers and splinters (common being wood and glass splinters)
- Dealing with allergic reaction caused by plants like nettles or poison ivy
- Treating the problem of ingrown toenail problem
- Reducing skin irritation in pets
Reported Side Effects
Side effects are the part and parcel of all kinds of medicines, whether administered orally or topically. And it is the same in case of the ichthammol ointment. The side effects that occur are mild and tolerated well by most. The use of the ointment may leave a scar on the skin, and cause skin irritation like hives, swelling of the face, and mouth, throat, or hands.
It is always recommended that after applying the cream to the affected area, it is covered with a bandage. Otherwise, you may risk staining your clothes. Other side effects which may include presence of blood in the urine, fever, chills, body aches, and nausea.
After all these basic aspects of the ointment, you may wish to know how it works on the affected skin. The ingredients in the product work to soften and corrode the skin that neighbors the wounded or infected area. In response to this corroding action, the foreign body such as pus or a splinter is caused to be drawn out to the surface. Moreover, since the ointment is antibacterial and antifungal, it helps in treating any infection and speeding up the recovery period.
To conclude with a few precautionary tips, the ichthammol ointment is strictly meant for external use, and it must not be used if it causes severe allergy reactions. Also, it must be avoided from coming in contact with the eyes.