Antibiotics improve skin abscess cure rate

Adjunctive antibiotics improve the cure rate of uncomplicated skin abscesses after incision and drainage, a US study has shown.

The use of trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole for seven days improved clinical cure rates of skin abscesses by 7% compared with drainage alone, a study of 1247 patients presenting to EDs found.

In a randomised trial of adult patients, clinical cure of cutaneous abscess was seen after 7-14 days in 507 of 630 patients (80.5%) who received trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole at doses of 320mg and 1600mg twice daily for seven days, vs