Should Antibiotics Be Used to Treat Minor Skin Abscesses?

Doctors today are rather reluctant to prescribe antibiotics, but they do seem to help in this situation.

The patients assigned to antibiotic treatment did rather better than those assigned to placebo. 80.5 per cent of the former and 73.6 per cent of the latter were cured at between 7 and 14 days after operation, a statistically significant difference. There were no very serious medical consequences of treatment failure though 3.6 per cent and 8.6 per cent of the antibiotic and placebo groups respectively required re-operation.

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