WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Minor, uncomplicated wounds – such as the typical cuts and scrapes of childhood – are less likely to become infected when kept clean and moist and treated with topical antibiotics, according to a literature review published online today in Annals of Emergency Medicine, the peer-reviewed scientific journal for the American College of Emergency Physicians ("Do Topical Antibiotics Help Prevent Infection in Minor Traumatic Uncomplicated Soft Tissue Wounds?") http://tinyurl.com/8ard5o2.
"The studies found significant differences between wounds that were simply kept moist and those that were kept moist with the application of a topical antibiotic," said lead author Anna L. Waterbrook, MD, of the University of Arizona in Tucson. "In fact, wounds that were treated with topical creams that kept the wound moist but didn't provide any antibiotic were associated with a higher infection rate and should not be used."
Dr. Waterbrook and her team reviewed four studies in the medical literature.
The first found a range of infection rates between 4.5 percent and 12.1 percent among patients treated with various antibiotic treatments and an infection rate of 17.6 percent in patients treated only with petrolatum, which contained no antibiotic.
The second study found an infection rate of 4 percent in patients treated with mupirocin versus an infection rate of 0 percent in patients treated with a triple antibiotic ointment, which is less expensive and available over the counter.
The third study compared infection rates in children treated