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A Potential Option to Antibiotics That Worked for Me (Topical instead of Oral)

I am always SCARED that the day will come when I need to turn to antibiotics to fight off some infection or some other strange medical problem.  Maybe you feel the same.  Here’s a story that worked out well.

A few weeks ago, the time came.  I had been dealing with a semi-bleeding nose, perhaps due to living in the desert environment of the Grand Canyon on a rafting trip where it was very dry, and in the following week, I felt my nose getting sore.  VERY SORE.  To barely touch the outside of the left part of my nose was painful.  The type of pain/feelings that reminded me of a definite infection brewing.

I’m not sure if this was the start of the infection, but the reason for this strange fishing setup is because that Colorado River is REEEEEEL cold(48-50 degrees) and it freezes things quick…And…trout fishing was very good…no pictures to prove of course but did release about 14 rainbows)

And…it didn’t get better, but the opposite, it got more and more painful over the next few days.  To the point where I started taking tablets of ibuprofen to deal with the pain which allowed me to sleep.

I was not a happy camper to say the least.

And then the debate began in my brain…to go to the doctor where I was sure he/she would prescribe antibiotics, or tuff it out and hope that my body would fight this off and all would go away.

So I wanted a few more days until a friend asked if I had been punched in the face.

The whole left side of my nose looked like Rudolf(the reindeer with the red nose), it was sore as hell, and it was starting to spread up my nose inbetween my eyes, and the sinus cavity under my left eye was also inflamed.

So, I went to the doctor. An ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat).

After a very quick inspection(with some long flexible rod/tubelike thing with a camera on the end…he told me, “Your right side is fine, but your left side is infected.  I will prescribe antibiotics which will help.”

And that’s when the reality hit hard, and the memories of having C-difficile 2 times previously came back to me.

For those of you lucky enough to never have C-diff, I applaud you BIGTIME!.  It is a nasty little side bacteria that people with ulcerative colitis are prone to more than others from some conversations I’ve had with other gastroenterologists along the way.  I’ve had it a few times, and the sign and symptoms are much like severe ulcerative colitis symptoms.

So, I told the doctor that I really didn’t want to take oral antibiotics, mainly because I have UC and I’ve also had c-difficile twice before, which I believe was semi related to previous antibiotic use.

He understood.  And more than that, he said, “OK, no problem, we can try topical antibiotics first, and see if that works.” If it does great, if not, you will need to come back to me in two days for other more aggressive tablet form antibiotics.

I was a bit skeptical if perhaps I was delaying the inevitable, but had to give it a try.

I was out to the pharmacy to pick up a prescribed tube of cream/gel based topical antibiotics, and he told me to put some on my clean finger and smear some on the outside and inside of my nose on the left side.

Once I got to work an hour later, I started the day in the bathroom where I put this stuff on.

Later on that night, I hadn’t noticed too much difference, but….., the next morning, a CLEAR DIFFERENCE for sure.

The pain had gone down dramatically(that night I didn’t even take the ibuprofen for the first time in maybe 5 days), slept just fine, and was super excited to put some more up the old nose again.

For the past 5 days, I have been applying this stuff in the morning after showering, and for at least two days now, I have zero signs that anything was ever wrong.  I’d say the left side of the nose is as good as new.

And no oral antibiotics needed.  So I’m not worried at all about c-diff returning, and who knows…Maybe this can be a gameplan that might work for you or someone you know when the knee-jerk reaction from your doctor is to prescribe oral antibiotics.

OF course, I’m no doctor as you all know, and this type of situation happened to work out well considering the location of the infection, but again, if it has worked for me, it can certainly work for someone else.

I wish you all the best however you are dealing with and treating your UC or other medical difficulties.  I have been doing still very good with keeping the colon in check, after many years of following a strict diet which I’ve talked about extensively here, I’m eating and drinking just about whatever I want(still staying away from beer and other very sweet drinks), but pretty darn happy.

Have a great rest of June(wow…first half of 2018 is nearly through), and hope the best for all of you,


a few semi related pictures below

(And as today is father’s day, below is a picture with my father getting some french toast on one of the mornings on the river…and if you want to check out a trip, we used Arizona River Runners, which I’d highly recommend..was about 6 days long, a bit more roughing it than some had expected…but was a great family trip.)

my dad’s the guy in the middle of the other two plating up..

nothing to do with the infection..but where this infection began is a pretty worthy place.

Grand Canyon toilet with a view…hit this several times…this was the ONLY option…and all that was brought on the trip went with us the whole way until we were safely out..

35 thoughts on “A Potential Option to Antibiotics That Worked for Me (Topical instead of Oral)”

  1. I like you guys needed antibiotics for various things along dealing with my UC. I have always had allergies which typically led to sinus infections. I would get several of these per year. My sinus infections would get so bad and the only relief was to take antibiotics with prednisone. And a month or two later same thing would happen. Yes I used a nasal mix Neilmed every day 2x. Still do. Long story short. I found relief of getting colds etc that led to sinus infections. I now take quercetib with bromelain 250 capsules quercetin 800mg bromelian 165mg. It’s a combo caipsule. I take 3 on empty stomach in am. 4 on empty stomach in pm so it absorbs effectively. I tried this before taking them separately and not taking for a long period or took them at the height of sinus infection which were not as effective. Once I got clear the last time from antibiotics and prednisone I started this plan I just outlined religiously every day. What a difference. The last 3 yes my ent told me I needed sinus surgery once again. I went this year for a check up awhile taking these supplants and he I don’t know how to tell u this but u are not totally clear in your sinuses but I definitely don’t recommend sinus surgery. Wow ! Whoa !

  2. Hey ! Derewin Tolliver, I have had two flares in the last 8 Year’s , the last one , resulting in 6 days hospital stay , on remicade, My question is are you still on Remicade, Amy side effects,

    1. Hey Derewin,

      Thanks for your question. I was prescribed Remicade about 9 years ago, and tried it three times. Unfortunately for me, it was not a long term solution and only worked well the first two weeks then stopped working. I have not tried it since. As for side effects, go the side effects database and you will see many others reported side effects from Remicade:

      Best to you,

  3. Hi Adam,
    Glad you got the nose in check.
    I have noticed mine can start triggering in very cold weather or in reaction to dry, or pollen heavy times.
    I wonder if it’s the inflammation in the body affecting the nose instead of the colon. Indeed it can be both. I always see it as a barometer of my physical or emotional stress and try quickly to monitor my low inflammatory foods and my stress emotions. I take ‘Lysine’ as soon as I feel the nose flaring up. It’s always one side. And can be so painful and bleeding too.
    The Lysine is a food supplement that is available in our pharmacies and health stores in Ireland , not sure for the USA.
    It naturally is present in tomatoes and other foods, but when ulcers present, and I think these nose issues stem from ulcers too, a supplement is needed to bring back the balance. It can work quickly and you continue to take it till cleared.
    I’m in remission happily since September 2017

    1. Hi Trish,

      So glad you are feeling well!!!!

      Great questions/ideas you posed, probably hard to say. Good luck to you for many months/years to come!!


      1. Aw thanks Adam,

        It is a great support having this platform , thank you!, where you extend a hand and in turn we can all help promote and support one another through the sometimes lonely and scary condition.
        Taking power of our own well being , while being less dependent on pharmaceutical drugs when possible seems to be a common thread.

        1. Thanks Again Trish, I think you are right, there is quite a bit we can all do in terms of thinking of way we can better ourselves by working together, even with something like UC:) Take care, and enjoy the weekend,

  4. I had a bad case of a recurrent staph infection in and around my L nostril for about 4 years. My nose would become red with 3 to 5 white pustules. I looked like Rudolph all the time. I saw 4 dermatologists, and they all gave me different antibiotics (oral and topical) even the one used for MRSA; but the staph would keep on coming back. Maybe all those antibiitics is what gave me UC.
    Long story short, I went to earthclinic looking for alternative solutions, and I tried vinegar; plain white distilled vinegar. I dampened a cotton ball with the vinegar and stuck it in my nostril for 5 minutes. The next morning, my nose was 75% better. I did this for 5 days, twice a day. To this day, the infection never came back, and it has already been 7 years. A few months ago, I learned that white vinegar is used to kill staph infections in woundcare at hospitals; especially wounds in diabetic patients. Uou can read the research yourselves in PubMed. I hope this hepls.

    1. Hey Pat,

      A massive thank you for sharing this! Great to know and great to think that such a simple solution(nice little pun there eh…:) can get this type of thing squared away without even a prescription!!. Thx again for sharing!!


  5. Rosanne

    Interesting stories!
    I never had an infection like hose described…but I occasionally get bladder infections. Once I had something within my fiber which is still there and Doc gave me doxycycline. No ,after what antibiotics it is by time for second dose I am in a serious flare. So I tell all docs I am allergic to antibiotics.

    I had bactrim twice for bladder infection and both times by second dose instead of flare, my baby finger on right hand gets red, hot, itchy and by next day turns black and an ulcer breaks out! Yes really! A nurse practitioner told me apparently that is my weak spot.

    Long story short I avoid all antibiotics.

    As far as bladder infections, I read the D-Mannose an herbal supplement taken daily prevents uti. It is many times stronger than cranberry at collecting bacteria. I have stenosis and scoliosis in low back and read that causes susceptibility to uti.

    Thanx for article and I know I am not the only one.

  6. Adam, I am so happy that you were able to avoid the oral antibiotics. I also live in fear of an infection that requires an antibiotic since I am certain that a high dosage of antibiotics was instrumental in execebating my ulcerative colitis. Very recently, I needed to take an oral antibiotic for dental implant surgery and the surgeron prescribed a Azihhomycin 250 mg tablets 6 -PAK that I took for 4 days only with no complications. I have also used a topical antibilotic for other infections that worked well too. I continue to do well on Entyvio and remain in full remission. If I was your age or younger, I may not have decided on it, but for me it has been a miracle drug with no UC symptoms…I just returend from a fantastic one month trip to France.

    1. Yeah Sharon for a nice France Trip!!!! That is great news and I’m super happy to hear you are doing well with Entyvio!!!! Congrats to you and have a great summer:)


  7. CAN ANYONE THINK OF ALTERNATIVE TO antibiotic for uti or diverticular flare? If anything happened to work please share as it has to be abit better than not taking antibiotics which i have been doing for past yr,I am aware it may not work but so many yrs taking them has given me uc flares,c dif!and pain

    1. Rosanne

      Lorri, I take D-Mannose daily. Just 1 is enough. I purchase from Swanson Vitamins online.

      I read it is more powerful than Cranberry juice at collecting bacteria in bladder.

      The reason I know it works….one weekend I had a uti and I was peeing blood….it looked the color of a cola drink. I took 2 D-mannose at night. In morning still had urine cola color. I took 2 more D-Mannose and went to a care clinic. They told me there was no bacteria present in urine. They thought it was Odd because I had other symptoms.

      Because of that episode I now religiously take 1 capsule per day. Knock on wood I have been fine.

      Yes! Love this group!

          1. Thank you so much Roseanne , Tried it and is working like a charm! I have now taken 1 a day and feel better than i have in past 4 yrs, Thanks a million!

  8. I’m so happy that worked for you! Do you mind sharing which topical antibiotic he prescribed? I work in the ED and I’m glad to hear topicals can clear up something like that!

  9. Thanks for that good news story Adam! Can you give us the name of that topical cream? I also try to stay away from the oral tabs, too.

    1. Hi Jackie,

      The cream/ointment/gel was called “Duac Gel”…but the reality is that it is:

      10mg/g +50mg/g Clindamycinum/ Benzoylis peroxidum (I’m sure it is a generic cream, so it may have literally hundreds of brand names depending on where you get it. BUt the active ingredients I listed are the underlying medications within that did the trick..)

      Best to you,


  10. Thank you so much for sharing this, I have had a sinus infection that finally about a month later I went to the doctors for.
    He gave me an antibiotic shot. I told him how often I get C Diff. He said if I fart wrong I can get C Diff.
    I was angry but too sick to argue.
    I am so happy to hear that a topical antibiotic worked. Thanks for keeping me updated. I am on your diet and have been off Humira since April. First time in years, no prednisone either!
    I am taking very strong probiotics and bio cleanse by a company named Plexus. I also drink the pink stuff, I am not sure what is working. But am very happy to be off Humira. Last time I had a colonoscopy 6mths. Ago. I was in terrible shape and my UC had diseased another 22 cm, of my colon. He had me on 1 40mg a week, I couldn’t tolerate it, so I went down to every two weeks, then got on Plexus and stopped I hated Humira so much. There is hope! I praise God for this remission. I got it when I was 19 and never felt healthy.

    1. Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for sharing how things are going and I wish you the best in the coming months and years!!!!

      Best to you and your family,

      1. Hello…I happened onto your site. After 14yrs in remission from UC , on mesalamines, I took antibiotics for strep..contacted Cdiff and now live day to day knowing that at some point I will need antibiotics. Stumbling onto your site made me feel so not alone…I wonder has anyone ever tried s boulardii on a regular basis? I started using with the hopes that when the day comes for antibiotics this will help in some way.

  11. WOWWEEE! That is great news Adam.

    I too am ‘afraid’ of having to take antibiotics ever again.

    Your story is indeed heartening!

    Great pics, too, btw.

  12. Hey Adam,

    So glad the situation worked out for you. Great info, thank you for sharing. I’ve read as well that oil of oregano is good for fighting infections & good for folks with uc. My 17 year old has uc & prior to my son being diagnosed we always relyed on echinachea & goldenseal, but that’s a big no No now. All the best… thank you for this wonderful site!


  13. Wow….great news Adam, and glad the topical cream worked for you. Like so many others, I am also afraid to take antibiotics. I am also afraid to take any pain medication too. I always heard that people with UC should not take a strong pain med….even Ibuprofen. So, you are very lucky you were able to take the Ibuprofen. So, congrats on the healing of your nose! Continued good health to you Adam!

  14. Hey Adam. Thanks for providing this platform. Just a question. Have you ever used wheatgrass or natural aloe leaf to calm your colitis? I was in a flare 2 weeks ago and after doing a colonoscopy my doctor prescribed a steroid cortiment to come then inflammation. I filed the prescription but after being on prednisone years ago I did not want to go down the steroid road again. So someone told me to start drinking 2 ounces of natural wheat grass and also to blend up aloe leaf and by the 2nd day I began seeing immediate positive results in my condition. Have you heard of this remedy before?

  15. Colloidal silver is excellent for infections – it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. There is both liquid and gel colloidal silver. You could drink a couple of ounces several times a day and, in your case, Adam, also apply the gel version to the nose. And I second the D-mannose for UTI infections – gave it to my elderly Mom twice for UTI’s and it cleared it right up. In the elderly, UTI’s don’t manifest with the usual symptoms, it goes right to their brains and makes them start acting crazy as loons.

  16. Here is a response I received from Teresa…she sent this via email to my message to the newsletter group…but wanted to share this with everyone as it may help others too:

    “Hi Adam

    My name is Teresa Lynch I live in Ireland. Just read your story about your nose infection. I also have had Cdiff twice and have ended up with severe Ulcerative Colitis as a result! It destroyed my bowel. I also avoid antibiotics at all costs as I get severe diarrhea after one antibiotic tablet but I found an amazing nutritionist who has Crohns but is in remission the past 10 years. She introduced me to Saccharomyces Boulardii. This is my life saver it kills yeast and also prevents cdiff etc. As I had no choice last year I developed a really nasty strep throat (due to immune suppressive drugs) and had no option but to take antibiotics. Straight away I was in bother with my bowel but my nutritionist told me to take 3 Saccharomyces Boulardii with each antibiotic tablet and straight away my diarrhea stopped and no cdiff. I take 3 Saccharomyces Boulardii every day it’s the only thing that prevents me having a big flare and on a bad day I up the dose to stop diarrhea. You may of heard of this but it’s certainly an option if you ever run into needing an antibiotic again. Wishing you continued health.

    Take care

  17. Has anyone heard of Dificid (fidaxomicin} ? From what I have read it is a really potent for C diff without harming the good flora…of course it only costs over 3000.00 for 20 day supply….

  18. Veronica D

    Ho Adam, o have avoided Antibiotics for 12 years. Never had C-diff fortunately. Ive been in remission for 18 months now. A few months back i had to undergo a total hip replacement which required taking Antibiotics for a week. I was so concerned and discussed this with my GI who told me it was required to avoid an infection in the new joint which would have been devastating. I took Keflex for a week fully expecting to have a problem but nothing happened. A week after completing the course of Keflex o developed a UTI and had to take another 5 days of Amoxicillin. Im not sure by what miracle my colon was spared but i did not have any issues. I guess my point is that there may be times when we must weigh the risk/benefits of doing something that can precipitate or exacerbate a flare. In this case i did not want to risk being in a wheelchair or hospitalized with an infected joint which would have required months of antibiotics. Glad your nose is ok. .

    1. Hi Veronica,
      Thank you so much for your comment on this post. And most importantly, I absolutely agree with you about your point you clearly made at the end. Antibiotics can be and very well may be the best option for some/all of us at some point in our lives.
      As coincidental as it may be… I was in this exact position very recently and although it is too early to know (more testing needed which I’m in the middle of..) I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the antibiotics wipe everything out. I’ll
      Send an update story on the whole ordeal in the future once more things are resolved/uncovered.

      Best to you,

  19. I concur with all the above concerning antibiotics. I am loathe to take them, ever! However! I got Covid this past august. At least I think I did as my husband tested positive and he had the exact same symptoms 3 days after I did. It was fairly mild, thankfully. Headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, fatigue, chills. I didn’t die! Yay! I was worried about my immune response even fully vaccinated. I thought since I have this autoimmune disease of ulcerative colitis that I’d be the one hospitalized. Who knows how my body will react? Now maybe it’s because the newer variants are less likely to kill you, I survived. I fully expected not to with a giant cytokine storm in my lungs. But! 2 weeks later I ended up with an upper respiratory infection that was miserable. It lasted much longer than any cold I’ve ever had. 8 days into it I was still blocked up and coughing up tons of green phlegm. At that point I said, screw it! I need antibiotics! Now! I figured it was bacterial. After the first day on them I felt a lot better. So there you have it. I wish I hadn’t been so reluctant to ask for antibiotics because of potential flare ups. I didn’t flare up at all! Yay! Now I did buy some extra strength probiotics and I took 2 of them 8 hours after taking the antibiotics every day. That ensured a fair fight in my gut. In retrospect I’m sure it was Covid that did reduce my immune response which led to the cold from hell. Next time I won’t be as reluctant. I wasn’t dying but it was so miserable.

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