Risk, Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management of Post-Operative Cutaneous Infection

Rachel L. Kyllo, Murad Alam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Dermatologic surgery procedures have low but non-negligible infection rates. This review summarizes current understanding of the risk of post-operative wound infections after cutaneous surgery, the diagnosis and management of post-operative infections, and appropriate use of antibiotic prophylaxis in dermatologic surgery. Recent Findings: Aside from specific situations associated with risk for infective endocarditis, prosthetic joint infections, and high-risk cutaneous surgeries, routine prophylactic, or post-operative antibiotic use is no longer the standard of care. Preliminary data suggests that post-operative infections may be more related to patient factors such as microbial colonization than technique-related factors. Several recent studies have suggested that outcomes may be equivalent between clean and sterile surgical technique for office-based cutaneous surgery. Summary: The past decade has seen a shift away from routine use of prophylactic and post-operative antibiotics in dermatologic surgery. Clinicians should be aware of the indications for prophylaxis and avoid unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Dermatology Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019


  • Antisepsis
  • Post-operative cutaneous infection
  • Post-operative skin infection
  • Prophylactic antibiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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