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J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 Apr;11(4):489-94.

Treatment of impetigo: oral antibiotics most commonly prescribed.

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1
Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1071, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Impetigo is a highly contagious, superficial skin disease that is frequently seen in children. While data support the use of topical antibiotics for treatment, the medications actually prescribed in practice are not well documented.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the prescribing pattern of dermatologists and nondermatologists when treating impetigo and the demographics of the patients treated.

METHODS:

National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey data on office visits for impetigo were analyzed from 1997 to 2007. Patient demographics and the treatments for impetigo were recorded.

RESULTS:

During this 10-year period, dermatologists managed an estimated 274,815 impetigo visits and nondermatologists an estimated 3,722,462 visits. Both dermatologists and nondermatologists most frequently prescribed oral antibiotics to treat impetigo. Topical antibiotics were second most common, and a variety of combination treatments were used.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oral antibiotics are the most common class of medications used to treat impetigo. There is an opportunity for physicians to take advantage of the equally efficacious topical antibiotics for treating impetigo. A shift towards topical antibiotics would likely decrease morbidity (resulting from adverse effects) associated with use of oral agents.

PMID:
22453587
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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