Survey highlights need for clear guidelines on simple abscesses

02/4/2014 |

Standard treatment for an uncomplicated skin abscess is simple excision and drainage. The CDC recommends that dermatologists also culture the abscess to determine whether drug-resistant bacteria are present, but Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines do not recommend culturing simple abscesses. A survey of 510 dermatologists found 82% culture simple abscesses half the time and 90% prescribe an antibiotic, but 24% prescribe an antibiotic that does not cover methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

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