Abscesses can be treated in a number of different ways, depending on the type of abscess and how large it is.
The main treatment options include:
Some small skin abscesses may drain naturally and get better without the need for treatment. Applying heat in the form of a warm compress, such as a warm flannel, may help reduce any swelling and speed up healing.
However, the flannel should be thoroughly washed afterwards and not used by other people, to avoid spreading the infection.
For larger or persistent skin abscesses, your GP may prescribe a course of antibiotics to help clear the infection and prevent it from spreading.
Sometimes, especiallywith recurrentinfections, you may need to wash off all the bacteria from your body to prevent re-infection (decolonisation). This can be done usingantiseptic soap for most of your body and an antibiotic cream for the inside of your nose.
However, antibiotics alonemay not be enough to clear a skin abscess, and the pusmay need to be drained to clear the infection. If a skin abscess isn't drained, it may continue to grow and fill with pus until it bursts, which can be very painful and can cause the infection to spread or recur.
If your skin abscess needs draining, you'll probably have a small operation carried out under anaesthetic usually a local anaesthetic , where you remain awake and the area around the abscess is numbed.
During the procedure, the surgeon makes a cut (incision) in the abscess, to allow the pus to drain out. They may also take a sample of pus for testing.
Once all of the pus has been removed, the surgeon will clean the hole that is left by the abscess using sterile saline (a salt solution).
Theabscess will be left open but covered with a wound dressing, so ifany more pus is produced it can drain away easily. Ifthe abscess is deep,an antiseptic dressing (gauze wick) may be placed insidethe woundto keep it open.
The procedure may leave a small scar.
The pus usually needs to be drained from an internal abscess, eitherby using a needle inserted through the skin (percutaneous abscess drainage) or with surgery.
The method used will depend on the size of your abscess and where it is in your body.
Antibiotics will usually be given at the same time, to help kill the infection and prevent it spreading. These may be given as tabletsor directly into a vein (intravenously).
If the internal abscess is small, your surgeon may be able to drain it using a fine needle. Depending on the location of the abscess, this may be carried out using either a local or general anaesthetic .
The surgeon may use ultrasound scans or computerised tomography (CT) scans to help guide the needle into the right place.
Once the abscess has been located, the surgeon drains the pus using the needle. They may make a small incision in your skin over the abscess, then insert a thin plastic tube called a drainage catheter into it.
The catheter allows the pus to drain out into a bag and may have to be left in place for up to a week.
This procedure may be carried out as a day case procedure, which means you'll be able to go home the same day, although some people will need to stay in hospital for a few days.
As with the incision and drainage procedure for skin abscesses, percutaneous drainagemay leave a small scar.
You may need to undergo surgery if:
The type of surgery you have will depend on the type of internal abscess you have and where it is in your body. Generally, it involves making a larger incision in your skin toallow the pus to be washed out.
An abscess is a painful collection of pus, usually caused by a bacterial infection. An abscess is a painful collection of pus caused by bacteria, which can develop in any part of the body. There are several tests available to help diagnose an abscess, depending on where it's located.
The symptoms manifested depend on the localization of the abscess. The abscess may develop: on the skin, in an internal organ, between organs, etc. The basic symptoms of an abscess are: swelling, reddening, pain, heat, as well as loss of cellular function (tumor et rubor cun dolore et calore et funksio laeze).
Most abscesses are caused by an infection with either staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria. Usually, one of the main causes of abscesses are the staphylococcus bacteria. These bacteria are found on the skin, and when or if the skin becomes damaged (as in a wound, a rash, scratch, or a malfunction in the sweat glands), they may enter and cause a bacterial infection at the site of damage.
See your GP if you think you may have an abscess. There are several tests used to diagnose an abscess, depending on where it's located. If a patch of skin has become swelled, is red, warm, painful and fluid-filled to the touch. Skin abscesses are easy to diagnose since they are visible. Abscesses that occur internally are more difficult to diagnose, and pose far more dangerous symptoms to the patient.
Abscesses can be treated in a number of different ways, depending on the type of abscess and how large it is. "Ubipus ibi evacuo", which means where there is pus, drainage is necessary. After all of the pus has been drained, the wound needs to be treated regularly until all of the infection has cleared, and depending on the size and location of the abscess, taking antibiotics may be necessary. In internal abscesses, surgery is necessary.