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Skin and soft tissue infections are among the most common infections caused by bacteria that can develop resistance to bacteria. Persons at particular risk for such infections include males, certain geographies, time of year (during warmer months), and affliction with diabetes. Many of the infections are abscesses, in which there is a pus pocket that can be drained by making an incision. Such treatment is in fact important to help control the spread of MRSA infections, presumably by helping to cure the abscess(es).
The current thinking is that in the setting of an "uncomplicated" skin and soft tissue infection (e.g., no involvement of deep tissues, minor clinically: simple abscess, impetigo, pimple, or superficial cellulitis), incision and drainage of small, localized abscesses can be curative. However, this is not an absolute, so many physicians are of the opinion that adding an effective antibiotic is useful. Until we have more information, it remains the clinical judgment of the treating physician about whether or not to prescribe an effective antibiotic, such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.
In complicated infections, which involve deeper skin structures (such as infected tissue ulcers, rapidly progressive infections, diabetic foot infections involving MRSA), antibiotics are deemed to be essential. The oral antibiotics that are felt to be effective against MRSA are clindamycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, doxycycline, minocycline, linezolid, and rifampin. The injectable antibiotics that are felt to be effective against MRSA are vancomycin, clindamycin, daptomycin, tigecycline, linezolid, and quinupristin-dalfopristin. Notably, the fluroquinolone category of drugs, which includes ciprofloxacin, is not recommended as an effective treatment for community acquired MRSA infection. The same holds true for the macrolide category, which includes erythromycin, as well as cephalexin, penicillin, and dicloxacillin.
To prevent the spread of MRSA, wounds should be kept covered with clean, dry bandages; hands washed with soap and water or an effective hand sanitizer after each dressing change; close contacts instructed to bathe regularly; no sharing be allowed of bedding, towels, washcloths, bar soap, razors, and so forth.
image courtesy of www.mrsatreatments.com
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Tags: MRSA, Staphylococcus aureus, infection, wilderness medicine, outdoor medicine, healthline
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