What is an abscess?
The term “abscess” means a collection of pus in a cavity. The cause is due to a bacterial infection. The inflammation can occur anywhere in the body, for example on the skin, in the genital area, on the buttocks – but also in the brain or liver. If the abscess develops in the area of the hair roots, it is called a furuncle, also called a pus pimple.
Also exciting: Home remedies for boils >>
What does an abscess look like?
Abscesses on the skin are characteristic and easily identified, primarily by visual diagnosis. You can recognize them by a reddened, painful and often throbbing swelling. The local redness is usually overheated and reacts very sensitively, for example to touch or movement. A small yellowish bump of pus may form in the center of the affected area of skin.
What symptoms can occur?
An abscess inside the body, for example in the lungs or liver, can be noticed by side effects such as fever, chills, headache or general fatigue. However, these symptoms can also occur with abscesses on the skin. In addition, the poorly defined swelling of the skin can cause an uncomfortable feeling of tension and even severe pain.
What is the cause?
An abscess on the skin is caused by an infection with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. The smallest injuries to the skin are sufficient for the bacterium to penetrate the subcutaneous tissue and cause the inflammation there.
The consequence? A nasty inflammation that destroys the tissue. A cavity develops under the skin, which encapsulates itself. This is where white blood cells called granulocytes accumulate.
The granulocytes break down and are therefore also responsible for the pus that is characteristic of an abscess. Because the infection is encapsulated, the pus cannot drain. The abscess enlarges, the bacteria multiply.
If the abscess is in the organs, the pathogen usually gets into the body via the bloodstream and can thus settle in the lungs, brain or liver, for example.
Treatment: What to do with an abscess?
An abscess should always be treated by a doctor. Your family doctor is the right contact person in this case. In the case of severe accompanying symptoms such as fever, chills or extreme pain, a speedy visit to a specialist or hospital is recommended.
Basically, the pus has to be removed, the inflammation subsided and the bacteria prevented from spreading further in the body. Often one is surgical evacuation the most suitable method for this.
Important: Have an abscess opened only by a doctor. If you lend a hand yourself, you risk an aggravation up to one blood poisoning.
Under local anesthesia, a doctor cuts open the abscess and drains the pus. The cavity must then be rinsed thoroughly so that no pathogens remain. Depending on the location and size of the pus bump, a drainage is sometimes placed so that the pus can continue to drain away.
by the way: Antibiotics are rarely used as part of treatment. Because: They have a hard time penetrating through the encapsulation into the focus of inflammation.
Also exciting: Recognize an anal fistula >>