Washington D.C.: Turns out, keeping those pimples and boils at bay is as easy as taking some antibiotics.
The simple skin abscesses, a swollen area containing an accumulation of pus, is caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria.
The findings showed that adults and children, who have abscesses five centimeters or smaller in diameter have higher cure rates and when the abscess is drained in combination with antibiotic treatment, either trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX or Bactrim) or clindamycin, it helped in frequently preventing recurrence of infection.
They found that clindamycin and TMP/SMX were equally effective in adults, while clindamycin in children had a slightly higher cure rate in children and more frequently prevented recurrence of infection.
Clindamycin had an overall cure rate of about 83 percent of participants; TMP/SMX about 82 percent; and the placebo about 70 percent.
“What we saw is that in fact antibiotics are helpful.
You are more likely to get better if you have antibiotics on board than if you don’t. And we also saw in children that clindamycin was associated with fewer recurrences in the one month of follow up,” said Buddy Creech from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the US.
They analysed 786 participants of which 505 were adults and 281 were children.
Bacteria isolated from the abscesses included 527 samples identified as staph and 388 samples identified as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA).
Patients were randomised to receive either a placebo, clindamycin, or TMP/SMX for 10 days after the drainage of the abscess.
The team drained the abscess, measured it carefully to make sure it was less than five centimeters and then randomised participants received a placebo or one of the antibiotics, clindamycin or TMP/SMX.
Staph, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains, causes most skin and soft tissue infections, but the appropriate strategy for the treatment of these infections has not been defined.
Clindamycin and TMP/SMX are often recommended for outpatient treatment of abscesses because of their low cost and their ability to fight community-acquired
The research is published in journal of Medicine.