15 Must-Haves For Your Bathroom's Medicine Cabinet

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

While it's always good to have things like Q-tips and cotton balls on hand, you're going to want to take it one step further and adopt the "be prepared, not scared" mentality. When it comes to your medicine cabinet, you need to be smart. This is basically like your own dedicated in-home first aid kit, where everyone in the household knows where to go for supplies if there's been an accident.

Some individuals store items in their medicine cabinets that they use every day. Topicals, creams, gels, and serums for your morning and night skincare routine, a toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash, acne dots, lotion, and maybe a neti pot can all take up residence in a place where they shouldn't necessarily be living.

So what, exactly, should call your medicine cabinet home? While it can vary from individual to individual, you're going to want a nice assortment of basic items that can tackle some of the most common ailments we human beings experience on any given day. Lucky for you, we've listed out 15 of the most important ones, so you can put them on the list for your next shopping trip.

1. Band-Aids

It goes without saying that Band-Aids need to be kept in your house at all times because it's not acceptable to go running around with duct tape and toilet paper wrapped around your finger if you accidentally cut yourself. Injuries come in all sizes, and that's why this multipack on Amazon ($7.62) is the best option out there.

2. Tweezers

There's nothing worse than getting a splinter and realizing that you either have no tweezers or the ones you have don't allow you enough leverage to access the foreign body underneath your dermis. A four-pack of different angle tweezers on Amazon ($9.99) can also work for ingrown hairs and pruning your brow line.

3. Thermometer

Fevers happen, but not everyone tolerates the under-the-tongue method (and waiting at least 60 seconds for results). That's why this no-touch thermometer on Amazon ($22.99) is great because it also delivers accurate results in around 10 seconds.

4. Eyedrops

Because there is no universal eye drop, it's best to err on the side of caution and stock up on droppers that treat different issues. Opt for one that treats dry, gritty eyeballs (artificial tears) and another that combats itchy, irritated eyes. Sometimes you can find multipacks like this twofer on Amazon ($8.39) that offers multi-symptom relief.

5. Antiseptics

Before you treat any wound, you're going to want to clean it first. Hydrogen peroxide can actually kill new cell growth, and rubbing alcohol can really sting. You're going to want to invest in a sterile saline-based wound wash from CVS ($5.49) that also has lidocaine, which helps dull any pain.

6. Topical antibiotics

Topical ointments, like bacitracin, work locally as opposed to entering the bloodstream via oral medication. They also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and curb your chance of infection. When stocking your medicine cabinet, look for a topical that also has pain relief, like this dual-action ointment on Amazon ($8.40).

7. Fungal cream

Fungal cream (miconazole nitrate) is used to treat infections of the skin. This includes, but isn't limited to, athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm. This antifungal cream on Amazon ($8.43) also moisturizes the skin and helps reinforce the damaged layer of dermis to help fight off reinfection.

8. Topical steroids

The main purpose of topical hydrocortisone cream is to reduce swelling and prevent itching caused by conditions of the skin (like eczema or psoriasis), or exposure to insect bites or stings and poisonous plants. This cortisone cream from Amazon ($4.86) also contains aloe vera, which helps your skin stay moisturized and aids in the healing process.

9. Aloe

Aloe vera gel is used primarily to treat wounds, cuts, rashes, and burns. It not only reduces inflammation and adds moisture back into your skin, but it also acts as a barrier against harmful bacteria. This rapid-absorbing aloe vera gel on Amazon ($17.96) also contains vitamin C, which protects the skin from further UV damage.

10. Antihistamines

For severe to persistent allergies, you're going to need something that works fast, is long-lasting, and most importantly, won't put you to sleep. Keeping a bottle of 24-hour allergy medication, like this option on Amazon ($26.50), will save your sinuses from some serious hay-fever-related grief.

11. Decongestants

If your nose turns into a faucet as soon as the weather changes, or if you're battling a stubborn head cold, then having a decongestant on hand can help with that. Going the oral route with a pill, like this maximum strength OTC on Amazon ($12.71), can be much more tolerable than using a possibly addicting nasal spray.

12. Pain relievers

Acetaminophen is considered to be one of the safer NSAIDs because it doesn't carry the risk of nasty side effects like stomach pain or bleeding. If you're no stranger to aches, pains, or headaches, then keeping a bottle of 500-milligram acetaminophen on hand, like this 200 count on Amazon ($6), can give you peace of mind.

13. Cough syrup

The pharmaceutical industry has come a long way from that disgusting cherry syrup you were forced to choke down when you were a kid. Look for cough syrup that's non-drowsy, alcohol-free, and is made with homeopathic ingredients, like this elderberry cough syrup from Walgreens ($17.49).

14. Antidiarrheal

Don't be caught without an anti-diarrheal in your home. These fast-acting oral meds, like the ones found on Amazon ($10.87), start working within an hour. It's actually a smart idea to keep them with you when you travel or if you're planning on eating seafood while you're vacationing hundreds of miles from the ocean.

15. UTI medication

If you've experienced burning and pain while weeing, you might have had a urinary tract infection (UTI). These can get dangerous and are downright painful. So it's always a good idea to have fast-acting medications on hand, like these UTI pain relief pills on Amazon ($7.99), to keep you comfortable while you get a hold of your doctor.