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Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: 2014 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America

  1. James C. Wade10
  1. 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Veterans Affairs, Boise, Idaho
  2. 2Medical Service, Miami Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Florida
  3. 3San Francisco General Hospital, University of California
  4. 4Division of General Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle
  5. 5University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, and R. M. Alden Research Laboratory, Santa Monica, California
  6. 6Department of Community Health, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
  7. 7Medical Service, Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Seattle, Washington
  8. 8Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  9. 9Department of Medicine, Stanford University, California
  10. 10Geisinger Health System, Geisinger Cancer Institute, Danville, Pennsylvania
  1. Correspondence: Dennis L. Stevens, PhD, MD, Infectious Diseases Section, VA Medical Center, 500 W Fort St, Bldg 45, Boise, ID 83702 (dlsteven{at}
  1. It is important to realize that guidelines cannot always account for individual variation among patients. They are not intended to supplant physician judgment with respect to particular patients or special clinical situations. IDSA considers adherence to these guidelines to be voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding their application to be made by the physician in the light of each patient's individual circumstances.


A panel of national experts was convened by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) to update the 2005 guidelines for the treatment of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). The panel's recommendations were developed to be concordant with the recently published IDSA guidelines for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections. The focus of this guideline is the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of diverse SSTIs ranging from minor superficial infections to life-threatening infections such as necrotizing fasciitis. In addition, because of an increasing number of immunocompromised hosts worldwide, the guideline addresses the wide array of SSTIs that occur in this population. These guidelines emphasize the importance of clinical skills in promptly diagnosing SSTIs, identifying the pathogen, and administering effective treatments in a timely fashion.

  • Received April 17, 2014.
  • Accepted April 21, 2014.
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