Mupirocin is an antibiotic ointment that can be applied topically to treat skin infections stemming from bacteria. Eczema is not bacterial, it is inflammatory. The eczema flares can become infected with bacteria though. This is when Mupirocin for eczema can be beneficial. The treatment of eczema varies based on what stage the eczema is in:
- Are there lesions that are acute and weeping?
- Are there lesions that are scaly and dry?
- Are there patches of lesions that are dry and thickened?
As a disclaimer, while we do our best to make sure all info is accurate, check with your healthcare provider before attempting any new treatment.
Bacterial Infections in Eczema Patients
Infections that are brought on by bacteria and virus are a stark reality for patients that are fighting eczema on a daily basis. Almost all eczema patients have had to fight Staphylococcus aureus (commonly known as Staph infection) that has settled into a flare that has been scratched until the skin broke.
A proper skincare routine is an absolute necessity if you are going to maintain a moisture barrier that is healthy and will decrease the chances of bacteria colonizing and causing an infection. Your dermatologist may opt to prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication that contains steroids. Calcineurin inhibitors will decrease the likelihood of bacteria binding to the skin, thus giving it the ability to colonize.
When to Use Mupirocin for Eczema?
Mupirocin for eczema is used when the infection stems from a small and localized bacteria. The topical antibiotic cream is only available by prescription. The cream is normally prescribed to be applied to the flare three times daily for anywhere from a week to two weeks. The brand name for Mupirocin is Bactroban. If the infection is severe it may be necessary to add an oral antibiotic into the treatment plan. Your dermatologist will or hospital staff will likely do a skin culture by swiping the seeping area of your infection with a cotton swab to test for bacteria that may not respond to certain types of antibiotics. Staphylococcus aureus is also called MRSA. MRSA is a methicillin-resistant bacteria and it is becoming increasingly more frequent in patients who have atopic dermatitis.
Infections that are viral are also a problem that arises with eczema. Herpes simplex is one of the most common bandits. This can be in the form of a cold sore or it can spread onto the more of the flesh. There are drugs that are taken orally such as acyclovir or valcyclovir that can be prescribed by your doctor to treat localized outbreaks of the virus. Acyclovir administered by intravenous methods may be necessary if the infection is extremely wide-spread and severe. If the herpes virus reaches the eyes, an eye specialist will need to assess the measures needed to prevent serious issues with vision.
The best way to fight infectious agents in the skin is to restore and maintain the skin barrier through skin hydration. There are also soaps that can fight the colonization of bacteria as well. There are differing opinions from the medical field on whether or not diluted bleach baths are beneficial, but the opinion that patients with MRSA should take bleach baths is becoming more popular. The opposition would stand on the belief that the irritation that can be experienced during a bleach bath is not worth the benefits that may be received.