Authors: Vogel A, Lennon D, Best E, Leversha A
N Z Med J. 2016 Oct 14;129(1443):77-83
Admissions for skin and soft-tissue infections have been increasing steadily in children and in the general population. Concerns have been raised recently about the increasing widespread use of topical fusidic acid and concurrent increase of fusidic acid-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Fusidic acid resistance and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are both more prevalent in youngest age group (<5 year-olds) and particularly in the North island. In New Zealand, fusidic acid is recommended for treatment of minor impetigo and is the only fully-funded topical antibiotic. The evidence base for alternative treatment strategies for mild impetigo is limited. Most children with impetigo in the current Counties Manukau skin and sore throat schools programme received care with wound management with only a few requiring escalation. An upcoming randomised controlled trial comparing topical hydrogen peroxide cream, topical fusidic acid and wound management only (clean and cover) will help provide evidence about the effectiveness of alternative treatments in the New Zealand setting.