The symptoms of an abscess depend on where it develops in your body.

Skin abscesses

Signs of a skin abscess can include:

  • a smooth swelling under your skin that can feel hard or firm
  • pain and tenderness in the affected area
  • warmth and redness in the affected area
  • a visible build-up of white or yellow pus under the skin in the affected area
  • a high temperature (fever)
  • chills

A Carbuncles is a common example of a skin abscess.

Internal abscesses

Abscesses that developinside an organ or in the spaces between organs can be more difficult to identify than skin abscesses. The symptoms can be vague and there may be no obvious external signs of a problem.

The symptoms of an internal abscess can also vary depending on exactly where in the body the abscess develops. For example, a liver abscess may cause jaundice , whereas an abscess in or near the lungs may cause a  cough or shortness of breath .

General symptoms of aninternal abscesscan include:

  • discomfort in the area of the abscess
  • fever
  • increased sweating
  • feeling sick
  • vomiting
  • chills
  • pain or swellingin your tummy (abdomen)
  • loss of appetiteand weight loss
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • diarrhoea or constipation
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Jul 2016