There is no meaningful benefit from the use of either oral or topical antibiotics for milder clinically infected eczema in children, according to a study published in the March/April issue of Annals of Family Medicine.
For the study, Nick A. Francis, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, and colleagues randomised 113 children with non-severely infected eczema who were randomised to receive oral and topical placebos, oral antibiotic plus a topical placebo, or topical antibiotic plus an oral placebo.
Results showed no significant difference between the 3 groups in the resolution of eczema symptoms at 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 3 months.
The researchers found rapid resolution in response to mild-to-moderate strength topical corticosteroids and emollient treatment, and ruled out a clinically meaningful benefit from the addition of either oral or topical antibiotics.
The authors noted that because the study excluded patients with severe infection, the results may not be generalizable to all children with clinically infected eczema.
They conclude that topical antibiotics frequently used in outpatient care, especially in combination products with topical corticosteroids, may not be beneficial to patients with clinically infected eczema and can actually promote resistance and allergy or skin sensitization.
They said that providing or stepping up the potency of topical corticosteroids and emollients should be the main focus in the care of milder clinically infected eczema flares.
SOURCE: American Academy of Family Physicians