Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are common conditions with severe and potentially life-threatening outcomes. However, the use of antibiotics to treat these infections is controversial.
This study was to identify the microorganisms responsible for facial SSTIs, their antibiotic sensitivities, and the therapeutic outcomes of treatment.
This was a retrospective, observational cohort study conducted at a single oral and maxillofacial plastic surgery department. The study sample included 103 patients with facial SSTIs (61 men, 42 women) with a mean age of 41.8 years (standard deviation ± 20.4).
The predictor variables included patient characteristics, antibiotic use before the clinic visit, and the infection’s site and origin.
The primary outcome variable was the presence of antibiotic resistance in the bacterial strains isolated from the infections.
The data were collected by reviewing the results of microbiological swabs and patient records obtained from patients with facial SSTIs. Categorical variables were described using absolute and relative frequencies, and continuous variables were described using mean and standard deviation. The association between antibiotic resistance and the predictor variables was analyzed using Pearson’s χ test and student’s t test.
The most common cause of SSTI was an infected epidermal cyst (60.1%). Of all the microorganisms identified, 80.6% were Gram-positive, and 55.8% showed antibiotic resistance against one or more of the evaluated antibiotics, including several backup antibiotics. There were no identified risk factors that significantly influenced the probability of resistance, and there were no adverse events observed.
The results of this study suggest that surgery should be the primary approach for treating SSTIs, as antibiotic administration may not be effective due to the unknown susceptibility of the causative strains. Antibiotics should be reserved for severe cases and high-risk patients, and if deemed necessary for SSTI management, a broad-spectrum antibiotic should be administered to cover resistant organisms.

Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.