Intended for healthcare professionals

Clinical Review State of the Art Review

Advances in the medical management of skin and soft tissue infections

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 14 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6004

Chinese translation


  1. Sarah L McClain, infectious diseases clinical pharmacy specialist1,
  2. Jefferson G Bohan, infectious diseases/antimicrobial stewardship clinical research fellow1,
  3. Dennis L Stevens, chief of infectious diseases1 2
  1. 1Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 500 W Fort St, Boise, ID 83702, USA
  2. 2University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
  1. Correspondence to: S L McClain sarah.mcclain{at}


Skin and soft tissue infections are some of the most common infectious disease diagnoses in both inpatient and outpatient settings. With bacterial resistance to antimicrobials growing, decision making on empiric antibiotics is becoming increasingly difficult. Additionally, the most recent guidance from a professional society on the treatment of skin and soft tissue infections was published in 2014 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and is now two years old. New antimicrobial agents have been developed and approved for the treatment of skin and soft tissue infections since then, and more are in the pipeline. This review summarizes the evidence on treatments that are new or in development and the potential repurposing of old antimicrobials. The clinical utility of these treatments is also discussed.


  • Contributors: JGB did the literature search. SLM, JGB, and DLS wrote the draft article and revised the manuscript. SLM is the guarantor.

  • Competing interests: We have read and understood the BMJ policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: none.

  • Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient involvement: Owing to the technical nature of this review, patient involvement was not requested by BMJ.

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