Medication
Antibiotics

Used to treat:

All types of eczema, when a bacterial infection develops

Eczema is an itchy condition. Research shows that people with atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema, may scratch their skin 500 to 1,000 times per day. Scratching can damage the skin, allowing bacteria and other microorganisms to enter the body and cause an infection.

What it does: Antibiotics kill the bacteria causing the infection so that the infection clears.

Research demonstrates that an oral (taken by mouth) antibiotic can be highly beneficial when the skin becomes infected. Oral antibiotics are frequently prescribed when a patient has atopic dermatitis because individuals with this condition often have colonies of Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria that causes a “staph” infection, on their skin.

How to use: Depending on the severity of the infection, a topical (applied to the skin) or systemic (swallowed or injected) antibiotic may be prescribed to clear the infection.


Take Antibiotics Exactly as Prescribed
It is especially important to take antibiotics as prescribed. Patients should not skip doses nor stop using the medication as soon as they feel better. Doing so may allow some of the bacteria to remain and possibly become resistant to the medication. When the bacteria become resistant to the medication, a condition known as antibiotic resistance develops.

Antibiotic resistance means that the medication no longer works. In other words, the bacteria have changed, so they are no longer killed or weakened by the medication that previously worked. This is becoming a serious public health problem. Worldwide, previously treatable bacterial infections are no longer responding to an antibiotic that had successfully treated an illness. You can help prevent this by taking antibiotics exactly as prescribed.
 

 


All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

Skin affected by eczema has fewer defenses against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  This makes the skin more susceptible to infection.


 
 

 

 

 

© American Academy of Dermatology, 2010  All rights reserved.
 

Page last updated 4/3/07

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