How do you treat a skin abscess?

Abscesses of the Skin

These are infections of the skin and underlying tissues in which there is a collection of pus. Pus consists of dead tissue and bacteria and their products. Abscesses are the result of an infection that did not resolve. Many infections heal (resolve) without forming abscesses, especially if they are treated early by the proper antibiotic and local methods. Abscesses are invariably painful, hot and tender to the touch. Some open by themselves and start to drain.

When does an infection have to be opened? 

If there is pus in it.

Why do you have to do anything if it is already draining? 

The opening is not adequate to let all the pus out; it has to be drained properly.

Will I still need antibiotics after it is opened? 

Usually not. Good drainage solves the problem.

Where does this skin abscess come from?

It can start from a bruise, a needle puncture, an infected hair root or an injury.

Why does a person with diabetes have to be specially careful? 

Diabetics have an increased susceptibility to infection and probably a decreased resistance to its control. Therefore, they should be specially careful to avoid an incident that causes them and to come for early treatment in an effort to prevent an abscess from forming.

Is an abscess a bad thing? 

Well, it is bad in the sense that the pus has to be evacuated. It is not bad and is really good in that the infection is all in one place rather than spreading through the bloodstream into other parts of the body.

Skin Abscess, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.


What is done after the pus is evacuated? 

The wound is cleaned and a pack inserted to let it heal from the bottom up. Infections and abscess incisions are not sewed; they are allowed to heal and to close by themselves. The dressings have to be changed regularly for as long as the drainage continues.

Is the drainage operation painful? 

It is usually possible to deaden the area so the patient feels no pain, only a sense of pressure and manipulation.

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