Sunday, August 28, 2005

In Praise of Bacitracin and Running

One of the many good things the US has given me is antibiotic Bacitracin ointment. It helps heal surface scrapes and cuts in a few days, without scarring - a must for clumsy runners.

A medic in Palo Alto introduced me to it some years ago when patching me up after a hill-running fall. He explained that the best treatment for virtually everything involving surface physical damage was a) clean out the wound b) apply lots of Bacitracin c) don't cover the wound unless the environment is infectious d) update your tetanus shot if necessary and e) sleep.

I've followed this formula successfully many times since, and it served me well again today, when a small fall took out my right forearm. The fragrant Mrs G executed the standard patch-up routine and now I'm fine - just typing with less fingers than usual. She has of course renewed her gentle pressure to transfer to a safer sport like swimming. But that would stop me exploring the world at first hand - the land, topography, people, flora, fauna, views and weather. And, of course, the surface of the sidewalks...

Which brings me to the point of this post. For some reason I've never found Bacitracin in Europe - perhaps it goes by another name, or has been banned by the EU. So I stock up with it before departing the US. Does anyone know of a European equivalent?