Antibiotic prophylaxis in dermatologic surgery

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1995 Feb;32(2 Pt 1):155-76; quiz 177-80. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(95)90119-1.


Antibiotic prophylaxis is generally administered either to prevent wound infection or to hinder the development of endocarditis. Although the use of antibiotics in certain circumstances to prevent wound infection can be straightforward, there are other circumstances in which the decision to use antibiotics is much less clear. Endocarditis prophylaxis has traditionally been based on the American Heart Association's guidelines, which do not cover dermatologic surgery. This article discusses the rationale and controversies surrounding the use of antibiotic prophylaxis for prevention of both wound infection and endocarditis, reviews the few studies that pertain to dermatology, and provides recommendations for antibiotic prophylaxis on a case-by-case basis for those who perform dermatologic surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / prevention & control*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / surgery
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents