What is an Abscess and What Causes It?
An abscess is commonly referred to as a boil in normal lingo in the streets by most of us lay folk. It is basically a collection of pus that can occur anywhere in the body, and can be quite painful. An abscess usually occurs due to a bacterial infection, and in most cases it can be safely dealt with by making use of home remedies and treatments. In most cases it is usually a matter of popping the boil, and cleaning and disinfecting the wound afterwards by using either antiseptic agents or alcohol, then covering the wound left behind to prevent it from being infected as well as allowing it to heal. However, some abscesses may require a doctor to drain them, especially those that are quite large, since they can be quite painful to drain. Abscesses are of two types, skin abscesses which develop underneath the skin and internal abscesses which develop inside the body either in an organ or in the spaces between the organs. Skin abscesses are usually the most common of the two. This article will look to delve into the world of abscesses and look to highlight a number of things about them that we should be aware of.
Abscesses, in particular skin abscesses are usually common on the face, back, chest, underarm, buttocks and the groin area. Given that they are bumps; skin abscesses are usually quite easy to identify; which you can do by touch or also due to the fact that the area surrounding them is usually visibly pink or red in color. Abscesses should not be confused with pimples, and to help with this there are a number of symptoms that accompany abscesses that help us identify them. Some of these symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, lesions, inflammation, a bump that feels warm to the touch as well as fluid drainage. The subject matter experts over at frontlineer.com also explain that most of these symptoms will only be visible depending on what caused the abscess and therefore, you shouldn’t expect to observe all of them for all cases where abscesses are concerned. Other additional symptoms as far as abscesses are concerned include redness around the affected area as mentioned above as well as pain in and around the affected area. Remember, if drainage is already licking out of the abscess, it may be time to have it drained. You can do this either on your own or have a doctor do it for severe abscesses.
Next up, in our bid to learn more about abscesses, we shall take a look at what causes them. As mentioned above, most abscesses, and skin abscesses in particular are caused by bacteria. Staphylococcus are the type of bacteria that are most commonly responsible for causing skin abscesses. A staph infection, as it is referred to, is most likely to afflict folks who have a weakened immune system, have poor hygiene habits, have a chronic skin disease, have diabetes or come into close contact with an infected individual, as is covered in detail by the subject matter experts over at frontlineer.com. Staph infections, like with all infections, can become life-threatening if they spread to other areas of the body, especially if the enter into your lungs, bones, joints, heart or enter the bloodstream where they can lead to the life-threatening condition of sepsis. Apart from bacteria, another cause of an abscess is if a hair follicle is trapped and is therefore unable to break through the skin. This is called folliculitis, which is basically an infected follicle, and an also occur when one spends time in a pool or hot tub that is not adequately chlorinated.
Some of the serious consequences that can result from the failure to properly deal with an abscess include acute bone infection, sepsis, infection of the heart’s inner lining, tissue death, as well as development of new abscesses. It is therefore important to have them treated properly. As per the folks over at frontlineer.com, if the abscess is smaller than 1 cm, then home remedies such as making use of a warm compress may suffice. For larger ones as well as smaller ones that aren’t responding to home remedy treatments, one may need to seek professional medical attention. This may involve the prescription of antibiotics especially if the abscess you have is on the face, you have multiple abscesses, you have cellulitis or have a compromised immune system. As stated above, the doctor may also have to drain the abscess, which may require first applying a numbing medication to the affected area, before cutting the abscess and draining it. Once the abscess has been drained, to prevent it from reoccurring, the doctor may have to pack the wound with surgical material as well as prescribing antibiotics in order to prevent the wound from getting infected.
The above are some of the stuff you may need to know about abscesses, with more on this and other topics to be found over at frontlineer.com.