Oral or topical antibiotics are not effective for treating milder clinically infected eczema in children, a new study shows.
In the study of 113 children with clinical, non-severely infected eczema, participants received either oral and topical placebos (control), oral antibiotic (flucloxacillin) and topical placebo, or topical antibiotic (fusidic acid) and oral placebo, for one week. All children also received standard eczema treatment with steroid creams and emollients.
There were no significant difference between the groups in the resolution of eczema symptoms at two weeks, four weeks or three months. There was, however, a rapid resolution in response to mild-to-moderate strength topical corticosteroids and emollient treatment.
The findings appear in the Annals of Family Medicine.
“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,” says study author Nick Francis, MD, PhD, a Clinical Reader at Cardiff University in South Wales, UK, in a news release. "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."