The effectiveness and safety of orally administered ciprofloxacin and intravenously administered cefotaxime were compared in a double-blind study of 60 men with infections of skin and soft tissue, including cellulitis, ulcers, abscesses, cellulitis with ulcers or abscesses, wound infections, and post-traumatic infections. Patients in the ciprofloxacin group received 750 mg orally every 12 hours for a mean duration of 9.6 days (six to 18 days), and those in the cefotaxime group received 2.0 g intravenously every eight hours for a mean duration of 9.3 days (five to 14 days). Infection was documented bacteriologically in 78 percent of the patients in the ciprofloxacin group and in 83 percent of the patients in the cefotaxime group. Pathogens included Staphylococcus aureus, enterococci, group B streptococci, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, and Klebsiella and Pseudomonas species. Half of the infections were mixed infections. Ninety percent (19 of 21) of the infections were bacteriologically eradicated with ciprofloxacin, and 82 percent (18 of 22) were eradicated with cefotaxime. Treatment was completely successful in 79 percent (22 of 28) of the patients in the ciprofloxacin group and in 68 percent (19 of 28) in the cefotaxime group (p greater than 0.1). The side effects in both treatment groups were comparable. This study demonstrates that orally administered ciprofloxacin is comparable in effectiveness and safety to cefotaxime administered intravenously in the treatment of infections of skin and soft tissue, and that it can offer an alternative in the treatment of such infections.