Pharm, part 50: Integumentary Medications - Topical Antibacterial and Antifungal

September 27, 2021 Updated: December 29, 2021 3 min read

Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Cathy, with Level Up RN. In this video, I'm going to begin my coverage of integumentary system medications. So specifically in this video, I'll be covering topical antibiotic ointments, topical antifungal agents, and topical medications used for burns. At the end of the video, I'm going to provide you guys a little quiz to test your knowledge of some of the key points I'll be covering in this video. So definitely stay tuned for that. If you have our pharmacology flashcards which are available at, definitely pull those out so you can follow along.

Two topical antibiotic ointments to be familiar with include bacitracin and mupirocin.

So bacitracin is used for minor skin injuries like cuts, scrapes, or minor burns. You would apply it one to three times a day, and it's possible that the patient may experience allergic contact dermatitis upon application.

Mupirocin is used for skin infections, which include impetigo. So this is kind of the gold standard for treating impetigo.

Side effects can include some burning or stinging upon application, and then we are going to apply mupirocin three times a day.

Next, we have our topical antifungal agents, which include clotrimazole, miconazole as well as nystatin.

We would use these medications to treat tinea infections, including jock itch, athlete's foot, and ringworm.

Side effects are usually pretty minimal, but can include stinging or redness.

We should advise our patients to apply these topical agents twice a day for two to four weeks. If your patient has tinea capitis, which is a fungal infection on their head, they can use a selenium sulfide shampoo to help treat that.

So selenium sulfide shampoo is an antifungal shampoo.

Our little cool chicken hint here on this card is kind of PG-13. So the drug names, or at least a couple of them, end in azole. So that azole touched me with his athlete's foot. Now I might need clotrimazole. So that azole clotrimazole. Hopefully, that helps you to remember these medications and one of the things it is used to treat, which is athlete's foot.

Next, we have two topical agents which are used to treat second and third-degree burns and to prevent wounds sepsis.

The first is silver sulfadiazine, and this medication provides broad antibacterial and antifungal activity.

Side effects can include leukopenia, and because of that side effect, we're going to want to closely monitor the patient's CBC levels during therapy. Other side effects include rash, burning and itching, and possible skin necrosis.

Our second topical agent we can use for burns is mafenide acetate. So this medication is bacterial static, and it can help penetrate eschar which can occur with certain burns.

Side effects can include pain, burning and itching, as well as metabolic acidosis. So for that reason, we're going to want to closely monitor our patients acid-base balance to check for the presence of metabolic acidosis.

So our little cool chicken hint here on the card is that mafenide is like the mafia taking down the eschar. So hopefully you enjoyed that little hint.

All right, time for quiz. First question, what topical antibiotic can be used to treat impetigo? The answer is mupirocin. Second question, what topical medication used to treat burns can cause leukopenia? The answer is silver sulfadiazine. Third question, mafenide acetate can cause what acid-base imbalance? The answer is metabolic acidosis.

All right. That's it for this video. I hope you found it helpful. If so, be sure to like this video and leave me a comment, and I'll see you in the next video, which is the last video in our pharmacology playlist. Thank you so much for watching.

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