Antibiotic resistance in dermatology: The scope of the problem and strategies to address it

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2022 Jun;86(6):1337-1345. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2021.09.024. Epub 2021 Sep 20.


Antibiotic resistance is a growing health concern that has attracted increasing attention from clinicians and scientists in recent years. Although resistance is an inevitable consequence of bacterial evolution and natural selection, misuse and overuse of antibiotics play a significant role in its acceleration. Antibiotics are the mainstay of therapy for common dermatoses, including acne and rosacea, as well as for skin and soft tissue infections. Therefore, it is critical for dermatologists and physicians across all disciplines to identify, appropriately manage, and prevent cases of antibiotic resistance. This review explores dermatologic conditions in which the development of antibiotic resistance is a risk and discusses mechanisms underlying the development of resistance. We discuss disease-specific strategies for overcoming resistant strains and improving antimicrobial stewardship along with recent advances in the development of novel approaches to counter antibiotic resistance.

Keywords: antibiotic resistance; antibiotics; general dermatology; infectious disease; medical dermatology; multidrug-resistant organisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / drug therapy
  • Acne Vulgaris* / microbiology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship*
  • Dermatology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents