What is an abscess?
An abscess is a collection of pus that has accumulated within a tissue because of an inflammatory process in response to an infectious process usually caused by bacteria or parasites. Other foreign materials such as splinters, bullet wounds, or injecting needles may also cause skin abscess. It is a defensive reaction of the tissue to prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the body. In most cases, the abscess is surrounded by an area of cellulitis.
What are skin abscess symptoms?
The most common symptoms of skin abscess a painful, compressible area of skin which may look like a large pimple or an open sore. Other symptoms may include:
It is important that you seek immediate medical attention if the abscess grows, the infected area is warm to touch, you have chills or fever and if pus starts to drain.
Possible abscess treatment:
Surgical drainage of the abscess (e.g., lancing) is usually indicated once the abscess has developed from a firm inflammatory mass to a softer pus-filled lump.
Antibiotics (in some cases) and painkillers will also be prescribed in addition to the incision and drainage. Wound dressings can usually be done as an outpatient until the wound is healed.