Antibiotics are one of the cornerstone therapies for numerous dermatologic conditions including the treatment of acne and rosacea however their overuse and sometimes misuse has increasingly led to antibiotic resistances.
According to one expert, efforts to limit the use of oral antibiotics only when necessary and employ combination therapies including novel topical formulations may be key in stemming this alarming trend.
“I think that most doctors are aware that antibiotic resistance in general is a significant issue and a concern in relationship to the breeding of resistant strains,” says Lawrence F. Eichenfield, M.D., chief, pediatric and adolescent dermatology, professor of dermatology and pediatrics, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
“Particularly in dermatology, there have been some concerns because there is some pretty good evidence that we prescribe a lot of antibiotics for the conditions and diseases that we treat, especially acne and rosacea,” he says.
The question remains however whether the use or overuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance that clinically impacts the disease treated and if the antibiotic resistance matters effect the care of the individual patient.
According to Dr. Eichenfield, the issues aren’t just about treating the individual, but also about the communal and ecologic effects of antibiotic use.
With an estimated two million illnesses a year and over 23,000 deaths associated with bacterial resistance, Dr. Eichenfield stresses that physicians must be more mindful when contemplating antibiotic therapy in their patients.