A vast range of topical antibiotics, chemotherapeutic agents and antiseptics is available for the treatment of infected skin lesions. In addition, many antibiotic-corticosteroid combinations are promoted for the treatment of mixed infected and eczematous skin lesions. Whenever the skin is broken serum may exude and become infected. It may be difficult to decide whether infection has occurred, and whether such infection is pathogenic or merely saprophytic. Ideally, the most appropriate antibacterial agent should be chosen on the basis of bacteriological information, but this involves a delay which is not justified in acute conditions, when it could be harmful. Bacteriological investigation is however important when the response to initial treatment is poor.
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