Antibiotics, whether oral or topical, have no significant benefits in children suffering from milder clinically infected eczema, reveals a new study, published in the Journal Annals of Family Medicine.
Eczema is a common condition, especially in young children, and affects around 1 in 5 kids in the UK. Eczema sometimes gets worse, or 'flares', and having particular bacteria on the skin may contribute towards causing some of these flares.
The study was designed to find out if oral (taken by mouth) or topical (creams and ointments applied to the skin) antibiotics help improve eczema severity in children with infected eczema.
Results from the analysis of data from 113 children with non-severely infected eczema, showed no significant difference between the groups in the resolution of eczema symptoms at two weeks, four weeks or three months.
"Topical antibiotics, often in combination products with topical corticosteroids, are frequently used to treat eczema flares. Our research shows that even if there are signs of infection, children with milder eczema are unlikely to benefit from antibiotics, and their use can promote resistance and allergy or skin sensitization," said study's lead-author Dr Nick Francis, Clinical Reader at Cardiff University.
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.
"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," added Francis.