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What is a skin abscess?

About


A skin abscess is a tender mass typically surrounded by a colored area between pink and deep red. Abscesses are often easily detected through touch. They are full of pus, bacteria, and debris on the inside.


Inflammation around a hair follicle may also lead to an abscess.


- A majority is caused by infections
- Most skin abscesses are harmless
- May go away without treatment
- Over-the-counter creams and medications may fasten the process
- Complications include sepsis, endocarditis, etc.


Skin abscesses can appear on any body part. They are most common to the back, face, chest, and buttocks. Skin abscesses can also appear in areas such as the underarms or groin, which have hair growth.


Causes include:


- Chronic steroid therapy
- Chemotherapy
- Diabetes
- Cancer
- AIDS
- Sickle cell disease
- Peripheral vascular disorders
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Severe burns
- Severe trauma
- Alcoholism
- IV drug abuse


Symptoms


- Fever
- Nausea
- Chills
- Swelling
- lesions on the skin
- inflamed skin
- fluid drainage from the abscess


Treatment


Self-care: Applying heat to the abscess may allow it to shrink and drain out. The most efficient method is to press a warm compress on the abscess. Warm compresses can be applied to small abscesses for about 30 minutes 4 times daily. They should not be pressed or squeezed.
To drain the abscess, your doctor will apply numbing medications and will then cut the abscess open to allow the fluid to come out. The doctor will use surgical material to pack it. This helps it to heal.


Medication: Severe cases of skin abscesses are treated with antibiotics.


Specialists: Treatments most suitable to the patient with skin abscess can be explored at mfine.

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