Skin infections were extremely frequent throughout the ages until the introduction of antibiotics and even now are common among elderly individuals, especially in those with diabetes and chronic venous insufficiency. The combination of poor hygienic conditions, infrequent changes of clothing, very rare hand-washing, and overcrowded living facilities made skin infections rampant in previous centuries.1 Prior to antibiotics, only skin cleaning and cool dressing were used to treat these infections, with very poor results.
Asensi V, Asensi JM. Saint Anthony’s Fire. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(7):850. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.5476