Sunday, March 23, 2008
The evaluation and treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections
Exper Opinion on Parhmacotherapy
Paul B Cornia1,2 MD, Heather L Davidson1 MD & Benjamin A Lipsky1 MD
1University of Washington School of Medicine, Primary and Specialty Medicine Service, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and Department of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98108-1597, USA
2Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Washington, VA Puget Sound Health Care System (S-111), 1660 South Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108-1597, USA +1 206 764 2551; +1 206 764 2936; firstname.lastname@example.org
Skin and skin structure infections are frequently encountered in clinical practice. Fortunately, these infections usually produce only mild to moderate symptoms and signs. Some, however, are severe and may even be life-threatening.
To review the approach to the evaluation and treatment of patients with complicated skin and skin structure infections and to discuss when to consider using either established antibiotics or recently licensed agents for treating these infections.
In addition to a non-systematic literature review of complicated skin and skin structure infections and necrotizing fasciitis, we identified recent articles examining the microbiology and describing recently licensed antibiotics for treating these infections.
Clinicians must learn to recognize the early symptoms and signs of severe skin and skin structure infections to ensure they select appropriate empiric antibiotic therapy and, when needed, obtain prompt surgical consultation. While the recent approvals of new agents for treating these infections are welcome, particularly in light of the continued emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, traditional antibiotic regimens remain appropriate for most cases.