Skin Abscess – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is a skin abscess?
A skin abscess is a bump that develops below the surface of the skin. This condition occurs when pus builds up under the skin surface in response to a bacterial infection. A skin abscess can develop on any part of the body. Skin abscesses are common and affect people of all ages.
What causes skin abscess?
Skin abscesses are caused by a localized collection of pus due to an infection. Skin abscesses may occur after developing:
- A bacterial infection (often staphylococcus)
- A minor wound or injury
- Folliculitis (infection in a hair follicle)
What are the symptoms of a skin abscess?
The following are the symptoms of a skin abscess:
- Local swelling around the infected spot
- Hardened skin tissue
- Skin lesion that may be an open or closed sore or a raised area
- Redness, tenderness, and warmth in the area
- Fluid or pus drainage
- Fever or chills, sometimes
How is a skin abscess diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine the affected skin area. He/she can easily diagnose a skin abscess by looking at the affected area. If there is drainage from the abscess, the doctor may send it to the lab for a culture to help identify the cause of the infection.
How is a skin abscess treated?
Skin abscesses heal fast if they are drained. You can apply warm compresses to help the abscess drain and heal faster.
If warm compresses don’t work, your doctor may cut open the abscess and drain it. The doctor will apply a numbing medicine on your skin before cutting the abscess. He/she will also leave a packing material in the wound to help it heal. The doctor may also prescribe an oral antibiotic to control the infection.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.