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SDPA Fall 2016 Live Blog

SDPA Fall | Live Blog | What’s New In Antibiotic Resistance?

On the third day of the SDPA 14th Annual Fall Dermatology Conference, Dr. Kevin Belasco, DO, MS began his lecture entitled “What’s New in Antibiotic Resistance” with an engaging overview of the history of antibiotic creation and use in the US. He relayed the noteworthy fact that Dr. Alexander Fleming warned of antibiotic resistance if penicillin was not properly prescribed in his Nobel prize speech just two years after his own discovery of penicillin in 1943.

Antibiotic resistance is defined as the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of an antibiotic. The overuse and misuse of oral and topical antibiotics has led to both antibiotic resistance and reduced efficacy of these very drugs over time. In dermatology specifically, this overuse and misuse has led to the emergence of resistance strains of P. acnes and reduction in the efficacy of erythromycin, clindamycin, and tetracyclines.

Why is antibiotic resistance important? The CDC estimates that annually at least two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States. If we do not decrease inappropriate use of antibiotics, Dr. Belasco stated “our favorite and most used antibiotics are going to go away”. Additional tips for decreasing antibiotic resistance in dermatology include avoidance of monotherapy in both oral and topical antibiotic therapy, subantimicrobial dosing, and limiting oral use and weaning when improvement is seen.

Furthermore, Dr. Belasco discussed the proper use of antibiotics for cutaneous infections in practice. Culture is always key in determining “the right antibiotic at the right time with the right dosage and for the right duration”. He concluded his lecture with the fact that no new antibiotics have been created in the dermatology field in the last 2 years and challenging attendees to be as responsible as ever in antibiotic prescribing habits.


Byline: Sarah Patton, PA-C, MSHS

Posted: November 6, 2016

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