Proper wound cleaning and draining is more important than the type of antibiotic, this is the key factor in healing kids' skin wounds infected with antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA, revealed in a study.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center originally set out to compare the efficacy of two antibiotics commonly used to treat staph skin infections, randomly giving 191 children either cephalexin, a classic anti-staph antibiotic known to work against the most common strains of the bacterium but not MRSA, or clindamycin, known to work better against the resistant strains.
Much to the researchers' surprise, they said, drug choice didn't matter: 95 percent of the children in the study recovered completely within a week, regardless of which antibiotic they got.
The finding led the research team to conclude that proper wound care, not antibiotics, may have been the key to healing.
"The good news is that no matter which antibiotic we gave, nearly all skin infections cleared up fully within a week," said study lead investigator Aaron Chen, an emergency physician at Hopkins Children's.
"The better news might be that good low-tech wound care, cleaning, draining and keeping the infected area clean, is what truly makes the difference between rapid healing and persistent infection," added Chen.
The study has been published in the March issue of Pediatrics.