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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2019 Jan;38(1):39-54. doi: 10.1007/s10096-018-3393-5. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

The downside of antimicrobial agents for wound healing.

Author information

1
Bioactive Resources for Innovative Clinical Applications Research Unit and Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand.
2
Bioactive Resources for Innovative Clinical Applications Research Unit and Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand. aramwit@gmail.com.

Abstract

The use of topical antimicrobials is beneficial for infection control in wound care because wound infection is the major cause of delayed healing. The advantages of topical over systemic antimicrobials include a higher concentration at the target site, fewer systemic adverse effects, and a lower incidence of antimicrobial resistance. Nowadays, topical antimicrobials are divided into three groups: disinfectants, antiseptics, and antibiotics. Only antiseptics and antibiotics can be applied to living skin; therefore, this review will focus only on these groups. The advantages of each topical antimicrobial are well established; however, their disadvantages remain prominent. It is widely known that antiseptics show higher cytotoxicity and a broader spectrum of activity than antibiotics, whereas antibiotics show a higher probability of bacterial resistance development. However, there are still many adverse effects, resulting from each topical antimicrobial. This review aims to summarize the possible adverse effects of commonly used antiseptics (biguanide, silver, iodine, chlorine compounds, and other antiseptics), antibiotics (bacitracin, mafenide, mupirocin, neomycin, and silver sulfadiazine), and natural antimicrobials (curcumin and honey). Moreover, the antimicrobials that should be avoided in particular populations are also summarized in this review in order to increase awareness for antimicrobial selection in those populations.

KEYWORDS:

Adverse effect; Topical antimicrobials; Toxicity; Wounds

PMID:
30291466
DOI:
10.1007/s10096-018-3393-5

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