What are the Best Antibiotics Used for Treating Cellulitis on Your Skin

Society owes a huge debt of gratitude to Alexander Fleming, Professor of Bacteriology at the famous St. Mary’s Hospital in London who quite by chance, discovered Penicillin in 1928. Before that date, the medical profession had no mechanism or knowledge of how to treat infection from wounds and injuries even as small as scratches and, post-operative incisions. Common antibiotics or antimicrobials did not exist, it was a lottery for patients; you either survived or died, even a graze could prove fatal. This landmark occasion was wholly accidental.

After a holiday away from the labs, Fleming noticed on his return that one of the several Petri dishes he had left to grow cultures had actually developed some mould, in fact, Penicillium Notatum. The liquid in the mould seemed able to destroy bacteria but it was a challenging substance to work with and only received a passing mention in learned journals the following year. By the 1940s however, the first proper oral antibiotics were in production and the earliest documented case of treatment occurred in 1941.

Are antibiotics used for cellulitis?

Although cellulitis is a principally a skin infection, it is not superficial like a simple rash. It affects the deeper layers, the dermis, and requires antibiotic treatment in order to eliminate it. These are typically in the form of oral tablets rather than a topically applied antibiotic cream. If antibiotics are not used for cellulitis the condition worsens and can evolve into a more momentous problem. Advanced cellulitis or one not responding to treatment may urgently require antibiotics administered via a line through a vein of the arm. This allows a stronger, more concentrated infusion directly into the blood circulation.

Which antibiotics are employed to treat cellulitis?

Routinely, doctors commence treatment with either Penicillin based drugs so Amoxicillin or Amoxicillin with clavulanate acid, known as Augmentin, a broad-spectrum choice. Both are suitable for children. Antibiotics are successful through preventing the bacteria from reproducing or, they simply destroy them in situ. The actual action of their performance will vary depending on the remedy of choice.

For instance, some antibiotics are effective because they impede the bacteria from constructing a wall, an essential part of cell survival strategy and multiplication. This is how penicillin works. Human cells remain unaffected as they do not feature a wall as part of their makeup. There are other targeted methods in which specific antibiotics counteract the behaviour of bacteria by impairing their protein-building machinery or disrupting their DNA profile. Antibiotics are used to treat cellulitis because it is a bacterial infection, they do not control or banish viral illnesses or diseases.

Do oral antibiotics require a prescription?

Antibiotic cream can be purchased over the counter, OTC, but antibiotic medicines by mouth require a doctor’s prescription or a script from a suitably qualified prescribing nurse practitioner.

What is the best recommended antibiotic for cellulitis?

A prescription is founded on your clinical symptoms, assessment of any other underlying health conditions plus factoring in other therapies the patient may be prescribed which could interact with the antibiotics for cellulitis. Every patient’s circumstances will differ in this regard so a prescription is tailored to the particular individual’s medical history. The best antibiotic for cellulitis is, therefore, the one which matches the profile of the sufferer whilst offering the lowest level of side effects, it is a holistic and clinical judgement but as a generalisation, penicillin is regularly the first resort.

Some people are allergic to penicillin

This is a standard question before allocation of drugs. Scientific studies demonstrate that many who maintain they have a penicillin allergy are in fact propounding an incorrect belief. Penicillin allergies are relatively rare, side effects to medication like this are not; the two differ. An allergic reaction to penicillin includes itching, rash and hives, low blood pressure and in extreme cases, anaphylaxis. Some alternatives for those with a genuine penicillin hypersensitivity include Tetracyclines, Quinolones and Aminoglycosides.

What are these alarming rumours about antibiotic resistance?

It was the great discoverer himself who reportedly said in 1945 during his speech following acceptance of the Nobel Prize, that resistance would occur through incorrect use of antibiotics. How correct he was, what a prophecy.

Overuse of antibiotics and incorrect application to those with viral conditions are widely believed to have contributed to the worryingly increasing number of bacterial infections which demonstrate resistant to antibiotics. In the US, the utilisation of Carbapenems, last-ditch antibiotic defence, seriously increased between 2007 and 2010. How to cure bacterial invasion just got a whole lot tougher.

A double-edged sword

Germs and microbes are not dumb, they metamorphose and mutate to outsmart antibiotics refusing to accept their fate. MDR – Multi-drug-resistant and XDR – extensively drug-resistant – organism strains are now endemic.

Two years ago, the World Health Organisation compiled a dossier of AMR pathogens which includes Staphylococcus Aureus, a prime causative in skin cellulitis.

Certain bacterial infections are likely to become untreatable therefore with the current raft of options, herald the arrival of the superbug. Predictions indicate a figure of around ten millions deaths globally by 2050 compared to the current level of 700,000 mostly caused by hospital-acquired infections which do not respond to interventions. This data contains a high percentage of elderly and those with other serious, life-threatening health conditions.



Article References:

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  3. https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/antibiotics/
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