Skin and soft tissue infections in immunocompetent patients.
Am Fam Physician. 2010 Apr 1;81(7):893-9
Authors: Breen JO
The increasing incidence of skin and soft tissue infections requires family physicians to be familiar with the management of these conditions. Evidence of systemic infection, such as fever, tachycardia, and hypotension, is an indication for inpatient management. Urgent surgical referral is imperative for those with life-threatening or rapidly advancing infections. In patients with uncomplicated abscesses measuring less than 5 cm in diameter, surgical drainage alone is the primary therapeutic intervention. Wound irrigation using tap water has similar outcomes as irrigation using sterile water. When antimicrobials are indicated, choice of agents depends on local resistance and susceptibility patterns. In settings where suspicion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is low, beta-lactam antibiotics are the first-line treatments for uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections without focal coalescence or trauma. When empiric coverage for MRSA is indicated and the infection is uncomplicated, oral agents, such as tetracyclines, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and clindamycin, are preferred. Vancomycin is the first-line agent for MRSA in hospitalized patients, and newer agents, such as linezolid, daptomycin, and tigecycline, should be reserved for patients who do not respond to or cannot tolerate vancomycin therapy. There are insufficient data to support eradicating the carrier state in patients with MRSA or their contacts with nasal mupirocin or antibacterial body washes. Standard infection-control precautions, including proper and frequent handwashing, are a mainstay of MRSA prevention.
PMID: 20353147 [PubMed - in process]