Health Watch: Frequent Use Of Antibiotic Ointments Could Be Linked To MRSA
PHILADELPHIA, Pa (CBS)- Antibiotic cream is something which many parents reach for all the time to treat cuts and scrapes, but research says it could cause a potentially dangerous drug resistant strain of the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Staph Infection, also known as MRSA.
Gitu Ramani always grabs antibiotic ointment for her two little boys who have minor cuts all the time.
“I wash it with water and I always carry Neosporin with me,” Gitu said.
But, a new study said the frequent use of over-the-counter antibiotic ointments could be creating a new drug-resistant super strain of MRSA. Researchers said the bacteria causes mild to severe skin infection, and can be deadly.
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“What was shocking in the study was that the areas that used more of the antibiotic ointment, specifically in the U.S. had more resistance than countries that used a lot less of the antibiotic ointment,” Dr. Matthew Weissman, an Internist, said.
Up until now, oral antibiotics were the main concern with drug resistant bacteria. Now that over-the-counter creams are in question doctors say keep it simple when it comes to minor cuts and scrapes.
“For a typical cut, scratch, scrape, soap and water and a band aid is probably the most important treatment,” Dr. Weissman said.
Doctors say it’s probably best to save antibiotics for more serious infections, but that might not be easy for worried parents.
“I just feel when you hear antibiotic, you think it’s going to get rid of that little bit of infection that could be caused,” Ramani said.
MRSA infections are becoming much more common and no longer becoming an issue just for hospitals. Now, bacteria is turning up in gyms, locker rooms and daycares.
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3.