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What Antibiotics Treat Skin Infections

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Which Antibiotics Should You Avoid

Topical antimicrobials to treat skin infections

MRSA is currently immune to the following types of antibiotics:

  • Penicillin class antibiotics including: Methicillin, Penicillin, and Amoxicillin
  • First generation Cephalosporins such as cefazolin, cephalothin and cephalexin. These are a Penicillin-like class of antibiotics and they may be used for non-resistant Staph aureus infections or mild cases of MRSA.
  • Resistance has been growing in many other classes of antibiotics as well including Vancoymcin.

Per the CDC and other research studies, these antibiotics are not good choices because MRSA develops resistance to them quickly. Other options should be considered first:

  • Fluoroquinolone class antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin
  • Macrolide class antibiotics such as erythromycin, clarithromycin and azithromycine.

Importantly, Fluoroquinolones can have very severe side-effects and have been associated with myelosuppression, temporary and permanent neuropathy and lactic acidosis during prolonged therapy. They also have some of the highest risks for causing colonization with either MRSA or C. difficile.

Independent Side Effects Listing. is a free, independent drug safety website where you can research your antibiotic for ALL of the side effects that actual people are experiencing. You can also report your side-effects. .

Top 4 Antibiotic Treatments For Internal Or Severe Infections

Hospitalized patients with more complicated or severe forms of infections are often prescribed one of the following four antibiotics. These infections can include deep soft-tissue infections, surgical infections, major abscesses, wound infections and burn patients.

Oftentimes a broad-spectrum antibiotic is used in conjunction with the following antibiotics. Most options below use intravenous methods of delivering antibiotics into the body. A picc line may be used for prolonged treatment.

1. Intravenous Vancomycin

Vancomycin is often called an antibiotic of last resort for MRSA, though resistance against it has been growing. Vancomycin requires IV administration into a vein and can occasionally have severe side effects. Duration of treatment can last weeks to months. Tissue penetration is variable and it has limited penetration into bone. Its often prescribed for pneumonia .

  • Resistance: Some strains of MRSA are now becoming resistant to Vancomycin, with one strain called VRSA .
  • Side Effects and Precautions: Serious side effects can include ringing in ears, diarrhea, and hearing problems. Like most antibiotics, it can cause secondary infections like thrush or yeast infections. Because this medication is eliminated through the kidneys, it could cause kidney problems in the elderly or those with impaired kidney function.

2. Oral or Intravenous Linezolid

See the skin infection above for more info.

3. Intravenous Daptomycin

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Prevention Of Staph Infections

People can help prevent the spread of these bacteria by always thoroughly washing their hands with soap and water or applying an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Some doctors recommend applying the antibiotic mupirocin inside the nostrils to eliminate staphylococci from the nose. However, because overusing mupirocin can lead to mupirocin resistance, this antibiotic is used only when people are likely to get an infection. For example, it is given to people before certain operations or to people who live in a household in which the skin infection is spreading.

If carriers of staphylococci need to have certain types of surgery, they are often treated with an antibiotic before the surgery.

People with a staphylococcal skin infection should not handle food.

In some health care facilities, people are routinely screened for MRSA when they are admitted. Some facilities screen only people who are at increased of getting a MRSA infection, such as those who are about to have certain operations. Screening involves testing a sample taken from the nose with a cotton swab. If MRSA strains are detected, people are isolated to prevent spread of the bacteria.

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The Sensitivity Of Streptococci To Antibiotics Is A Factor Of Successful Treatment

Before proceeding to the description of individual antibacterial agents used in streptococcal infections, it should be emphasized that the most important factor in the effectiveness of treatment is the sensitivity of streptococci to antibiotics, which determines the ability of drugs to destroy bacteria.

Often the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy is so small that the question arises why did not the antibiotic kill streptococcus? These bacteria in particular, Streptococcus pneumoniae have shown a significant increase in resistance over the last two decades, that is, resistance to antibacterial drugs: tetracycline and its derivatives do not act on them almost a third of their strains can not be influenced by erythromycin and penicillin resistance to some drugs of the macrolide group was developed. And fluoroquinolones are initially less effective in streptococcal infections.

The researchers attribute the decrease in the sensitivity of streptococci to antibiotics with the transformation of individual strains as a result of genetic exchange between them, as well as with mutations and increased natural selection, somehow provoked by the same antibiotics.

And its not just about the self-medication censured by doctors. A medication prescribed by a doctor may also be impotent before a streptococcal infection, since in most cases an antibacterial drug is prescribed without revealing a particular causative agent, so to speak, empirically.

Who Needs Antibiotics For Skin Problems

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You need antibiotics only if you have signs of a skin infection. These may include:

  • Bumps filled with pus
  • Cracks and sores that ooze pus
  • Wound that oozes pus or has yellow crusts
  • Feeling very hot or cold
  • High white blood cell count
  • Crusts the color of honey
  • Very red or warm skin with other signs of infection
  • Wound that is red, painful, swollen, or warm

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Pharmacy First Scotland: Cellulitis Treatment From Your Local Pharmacy

Adults 18 years and over with symptoms of cellulitis can get advice and treatment directly from a pharmacy in certain instances. This includes cases where cellulitis is linked to an insect bites on the arms or body. If the pharmacist cannot treat you they may recommend you see your GP.

See your pharmacist as soon as possible if an area of your skin suddenly turns red, painful and hot.

Early treatment can help reduce the risk of the infection becoming severe.

Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest accident and emergency department immediately if:

  • your face or the area around your eye is affected
  • your symptoms are getting rapidly worse
  • you experience other symptoms in addition to the changes in your skin, such as a fever or vomiting
  • you have a weak immune system for example, because of HIV or chemotherapy or severe lymphoedema, a condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues
  • a young child or elderly person has possible cellulitis

How Is Canine Pyoderma Treated

Acute Treatment:

At the time of diagnosis, treatment generally begins with an appropriate antibiotic. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the infection. If the infection has been treated previously, the antibiotic should be based on a culture and susceptibility test to insure that the it has not become resistant to more commonly used antibiotics.

Minimizing Recurrence:

In order to minimize recurrent outbreaks and avoid prolonged exposure to antibiotics, concurrent treatment with immunotherapies such as Staphage Lysate ® may be recommended.

Adjunctive Treatments:

Some additional steps may be recommended as well. Hypoallergenic shampoos and hydrating conditioners to wash out the allergens and dirt and moisturize the skin, relieving itching may be used to make the dog feel better. Topicals may be also used as anti-infectives, however often require frequent application. Caution should be used as these treatments may destroy good skin bacteria along with staph.

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Does Staph Stay In Your System Forever

As a result, the body does not develop long-term immunity and remains vulnerable to that particular staph infection throughout life. While certain staph bacteria cause mild skin infections, other strains of staph bacteria can wreak havoc in the bloodstream and bones, sometimes leading to amputations.

How Do We Diagnose Pyoderma

Bacterial Skin Infection – Cellulitis and Erysipelas (Clinical Presentation, Pathology, Treatment)

Pyoderma is diagnosed by history and clinical examination, and supported by cytologic findings.

Cytology is important for several reasons it:

  • Identifies coexistent staphylococcal and Malassezia infections in order to resolve the infections, both need to be treated
  • Confirms the presence of bacteria and white blood cells
  • Helps to differentiate pyoderma from other cutaneous diseases that mimic, or may coexist with, pyodermas, such as pemphigus foliaceus.

Samples can be obtained for cytology in several ways.

  • Clear tape is an excellent way to collect materials from feet and skin folds, as well as from collarettes. See Step by Step: Using Clear Tape for Cytologic Evaluation of Pyoderma.
  • Direct impression smears can be obtained from moist lesions and pustule exudate, allowed to dry, and then stained.
  • A dry #10 blade can collect crusts from very dry lesions, which are then placed on a slide and minced into sterile saline. Once dried, the slide can be stained and examined.

Culture and sensitivity is recommended for all generalized deep pyodermas and if treatment with 2 different classes of oral antibiotic, repeated courses of a previously effective antibiotic, or one injection of cefovecin18 fail to resolve any superficial or deep infections .

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What Is The Best Thing To Put On A Staph Infection

The majority of minor staph skin infections may be treated at home. Soak the afflicted region with warm water or cover it with warm, damp washcloths. Apply a heating pad or a hot water bottle to the skin three or four times a day for roughly 20 minutes. If your doctor recommends it, apply antibiotic ointment. Otherwise, skip the medicine and wait it out.

If the skin infection does not improve within a few days, see a dermatologist.

Treating Resistant Skin Infections In Dogs

Pyoderma is a common skin disorder in small animal practice. Now that the major canine pathogen, Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, has acquired methicillin resistance, treatment has become more challenging and more expensive. Keys to success in treatment and prevention require:

  • Prompt identification and treatment of the underlying cause
  • Use of culture and sensitivity to guide antibiotic use
  • Increased reliance on topical therapy.

Editors Note: This article was originally published in May/June 2015. Please use this content for reference or educational purposes, but note that it is not being actively vetted after publication. For the most recent peer-reviewed content, see our issue archive.

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Things You Can Do Yourself

As well as taking antibiotics for cellulitis, you can help speed up your recovery by:

  • taking paracetamol or ibuprofen for the pain
  • raising the affected body part on a pillow or chair when youre sitting or lying down, to reduce swelling
  • regularly moving the joint near the affected body part, such as your wrist or ankle, to stop it getting stiff
  • drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
  • not wearing compression stockings until youre better

You can reduce the chances of getting cellulitis again by:

  • keeping skin clean and well moisturised
  • cleaning any cuts or wounds and using antiseptic cream
  • preventing cuts and scrapes by wearing appropriate clothing and footwear
  • wearing gloves if working outside

Missing A Dose Of Antibiotics

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If you forget to take a dose of your antibiotics, take that dose as soon as you remember and then continue to take your course of antibiotics as normal.

But if its almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

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What Are Bacterial Skin Infections

A bacterial skin infection can be treated with antibiotics and other topical or oral medications. A bacterial skin infection is a painful and itchy inflammation of the skin, caused by bacteria. Most often, these infections happen on the arms or legs, but you can get them anywhere on the body. If the infection gets bad enough, you may even need to be treated in a hospital. A bacterial skin infection is a type of infection that can occur on the skin.

It usually affects the area around the mouth and eyes and may cause redness, painful sensations, and swelling. Bacterial skin infections are a type of infection that is caused by a bacterial or yeast infection that affects your skin, causing redness, swelling and other symptoms. While they may be painful and even embarrassing, they should not be taken lightly as they can cause long-term damage if left untreated.

Example Of Staph Skin Infection In Dogs:

Im sure most of you have had at least a slight interest in the dog health. Staph infection in dogs is something to be worried about. It is a very common infection that can easily occur. It is important to understand the anatomy of the dog and the major cause of the infection. The most common site for damage is the paw. This commonly happens in a dog that eats something contaminated, such as a shoe. The infection may travel into the paw and through the skin.

These are very important in your dogs health care. Dogs are carriers of this bacteria. It is usually the dog that can become infected once they come in contact with the bacteria.

To prevent the possibility of an infection, you should always try to be very careful with your dogs paw and nail. It is not recommended to let the dog lick a steak or any other food.

There are many kinds of antibiotics that can help. It is important to always make sure the infection is cleared up, because staph skin infection in dogs is very serious. It can cause a lot of issues such as a swollen paw, wounds, abscesses and even the loss of the limb. If this happens, it is very important to seek help because many antibiotics are not very effective when it comes to staph infections.

It is very important to follow the instructions of your veterinarian, as they are the ones that can help you deal with the infection.

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When Taking An Antibiotic

It is important to take antibiotics in the correct way. If you do not, this may reduce how well they work. For example, some antibiotics need to be taken with food and others should be taken on an empty stomach. If you do not take your antibiotics in the right way it will affect how much of them get into your body and therefore they may not work as well. So, follow the instructions as given by your doctor and on the leaflet that comes with the antibiotic you are prescribed.

Always take the entire course of antibiotics as directed by your doctor. Even though you may feel better before your medicine is entirely gone, follow through and take the entire course. This is important for your healing. If an antibiotic is stopped in mid-course, germs may be partially treated and not completely killed. Bacteria may then become resistant to that antibiotic.

Overuse of antibiotics has led to some bacteria changing their form or structure and becoming resistant to some antibiotics, which may then not work when really needed. For example, meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that has become resistant to many different antibiotics and is difficult to treat. Other bacteria produce chemicals called enzymes such as extended-spectrum beta-lactamases which allow them to be resistant to certain antibiotics.

What Can I Expect If I Have Cellulitis

Antibiotics for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections

With early diagnosis and treatment, the outlook for people with cellulitis is good. Most people feel better after seven to 10 days.

Its very important to take cellulitis seriously and get treatment right away. Cellulitis can quickly progress and lead to more severe conditions. The bacteria could spread to your bloodstream or heart , which may be fatal.

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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Spreading Or Getting Group A Streptococcal Infections

Even though there is no vaccine to prevent group A streptococcal infections, you can reduce your risk of getting an infection or spreading infection by having good hygiene. Good hygiene includes:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water often.
  • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throwing away your tissues after using them.
  • Washing utensils, plates and glasses after someone who is sick uses them.
  • Staying home if you feel sick.
  • Cleaning and covering wounds until they heal.

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