Friday Facts #11 Infected atopic dermatitis

author/source: DrB



  • When the conventional treatment of acute atopic eczema does not respond as it should to conventional topical treament with emollients and topical steroids, the possibilty of a complicating infection needs consideration.


  • Bacterial infection of atopic eczema is most commonly due to staphylococcus aureus. The inflammation that accompanies an infection can be associated with an increase in itching, together with a weeping wetness and crusting (see above).


  • The source of the infection may be the nose, carried to the skin by the finger and scratching: swabs from the nose and the eczema are taken, to identify the germ and its sensitivity to antibiotics.


  • Although antibiotic treatment as a cream can be effective, hypersensitivity reactions to topical antibiotics are notorious, and this further delays healing.


  • Therefore taking a course of antibiotics by mouth may be preferable. When taking a course of antibiotics it is important always to finish the course, even if the infection seems to clear up early on.


Bacterial infection is a common complication frustrating the successful treatment of acute eczema

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