Skin Abscess - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Skin abscess is also referred to as Boils. It is a collection of pus and infected material in or on the skin. Skin abscess generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with white cells that the body sends to fight the infection. This collection of white cells is known as pus. Finally, the pus "forms a head" and drains out through the skin. Skin abscesses may occur anywhere on the body. They affect people of all ages. The abscess can prevent deeper tissues from functioning properly. The infection may spread locally or throughout the body. The spread of infection through the bloodstream may cause severe complications. Your doctor can diagnose the condition based on the appearance of the area. A culture or examination of any drainage from the lesion may help identify what organism is causing it.
- They are caused when an infection causes pus and infected material to collect in the skin.
- Abscesses can be caused by minor breaks and punctures of the skin.
- The cause may also be obstruction of sweat glands and oil glands.
- Inflammation of hair follicles may also cause this disease to occur.
- Other risks may be such as acne which is caused by plugged sweat glands that become infected.
- People with weakened immune systems may be more prone to abscesses or may have more severe ones.
- Skin abscesses may follow a bacterial infection, commonly an infection with bacteria called staphylococcus.
- Most abscesses form just under the skin. A hair root becomes infected and develops into a small abscess. The skin next to the anus is another common area for an abscess to develop.
- The symptoms of a skin abscess include: swelling, redness, pain, and warmth over the affected area.
- An abscess sometimes forms inside the body within an organ or in a space between organs.
- The mouth and throat may show a swollen area of inflammation typically on one side.
- Lymph glands in the neck may be enlarged and tender.
- There may be fever or chills in some cases.
- Small abscesses may be helped by applying warm compresses to the area several times a day. This will sometimes promote spontaneous drainage of the abscess.
- The doctor may cut and drain the abscess to clean the area and control the infection. Antibiotics are given to control the infection.
- Fever medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be given by mouth or in your rectum to lower your temperature.
- Pain medicine may be given as a shot or by mouth. If the pain does not subside or comes back, call your doctor. Normally pain does not remain long.
- Keep the place where drainage is operated as dry as possible. Several medicines can also be taken by mouth or injected to make things normal.
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