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Overuse of Antibiotics Poses a Serious Risk to Public Health

Overuse of Antibiotics Poses a Serious Risk to Public Health

Over-prescribed and overused antibiotics are creating dangerous antibiotic resistances that result in more threatening illnesses.

Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for upper respiratory infections. Patients often want antibiotics, and it may be quicker and easier for physicians to simply write the prescription and “satisfy” the patient. However, most upper respiratory infections are viral, and thus don’t respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics have been used commonly to treat acne. Fortunately, alternative treatments including topical treatment, peels, Blu light therapy can often be used to successfully treat acne.

Recently, the University of Miami School of Medicine held a symposium on antibiotic use and resistant bacteria. Disease specialists, medical professionals, and researchers attended in order to better understand the growing issue of over-prescribed and improperly used antibiotics. Many cite that a primary source of the problem is under-qualified physicians who prescribe antibiotics for any complaint, even if it isn’t related to bacterial infection. As a result, illnesses are evolving to be unresponsive to many popular drugs. Drug-resistant malaria is already posing a public health threat in Africa.

However, current federal law includes very little legislation on antibiotic prescriptions. Some states like California have increased oversight on the use of antimicrobials. But until there is a significant increase in regulation, it’s important to choose health care professionals that are informed and qualified. At Zimmet Vein & Dermatology, we take the time to choose a treatment regimen that is best for your unique situation. Contact Dr. Zimmet’s office today for more information on our practice and services.

Rare Bacterial Infection Caused by Tattoos

If you’re considering getting a tattoo, keep this in mind: recently the CDC reported on two healthy individuals who contracted a potentially dangerous skin infection, that usually only strikes in people with deteriorated immune systems, after getting tattoos at a commercial tattoo parlor. Mycobacterium haemophilum, the bacteria which causes the infection, is very similar to the bacteria that cause leprosy and tuberculosis.

The disease is particularly dangerous because it is difficult to treat. The bacteria is resistant to the normal cocktail of antibiotics. For the first man who was infected with the bacteria after a visit to the tattoo parlor, even the correct combination of medicine took 6 months to heal the infection.

The tattoo parlor that both individuals allegedly contracted the bacteria from met the state’s sanitation standards, and no one has determined exactly how the infection was contracted. One researcher suspects that the tap water used to dilute the ink could have carried the bacteria into the victims’ bodies.

Since the bacteria is extremely rare, the CDC has not been particularly alarmed at the outbreak. However, they ask tattoo artists, tattoo recipients, and dermatologists to be vigilant and recognize the symptoms of a mycobacterium haemophilum infection: a rash and small lesions at the infection site.

There are other dangers of tattooing, with a link between the number of tattoos and the risk of Hepatitis C. Here are some tips for making sure your tattoo experience is as sanitary as possible:

  • Ask for qualifications, proof of passing inspection, and sanitary procedures. Never get a tattoo from an under-qualified parlor.
  • Maintain a healthy immune system. Don’t get a tattoo if your immune system is already under attack, because that may increase your risk of contracting a bacterial infection.
  • Go to a dermatologist or doctor first thing if you develop a rash.
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Austin, Texas

1500 W. 34th Street
Austin, TX 78703
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