Dermatologists Can Have a Positive Impact on Growing Antibiotic Resistance Rates
In 2013, approximately 9.3 million prescriptions for oral and topical antibiotics were dispensed for dermatology-related issues. There are estimates that up to half of all antibiotics prescribed are not needed or optimal for many dermatologic conditions and that antibiotic-free treatment options can effectively control disease.
The antibiotic resistance conversation is not new, but the recent PCAST report and Executive Order on combating antimicrobial resistance has made it a trending topic with high-profile organizations announcing their efforts to promote appropriate use, including the dermatology community.
Specific initiatives have been implemented underscoring our commitment to antibiotic stewardship, such as:
-- Involvement in this year’s CDC’s Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, where the American Acne and Rosacea Society (AARS) and Galderma Laboratories, L.P. participated to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance in dermatology.
-- The AARS’s Scientific Panel on Antibiotic Use in Dermatology (SPAUD), which is committed to providing clinicians with updated recommendations on optimal antibiotic prescribing.
-- The publication of “Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Acne”, which specifically discusses appropriate antibiotic use.
There are effective ways to treat acne without antibiotics, including topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide helps limit development of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) resistance, and can be utilized alone, with retinoids using multiple products, or with Epiduo® Gel 0.1%/2.5% which combines both adapalene and benzoyl peroxide into one treatment.
It’s our responsibility to our patients to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions and help curb rising resistance rates.
Larry Eichenfield, MD
President of the American Acne and Rosacea Society (AARS) and Chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Dermatology at Children's Hospital, San Diego and at the University of California, San Diego
Disclosures: Eichenfield reported no relevant financial disclosures.