If you’ve ever had a painful, swollen lump on your skin, you may have had an abscess. An abscess is a collection of pus that forms inside the body, usually in response to an infection. They can occur in any part of the body, including the skin, teeth, and internal organs.
Abscesses are usually caused by a bacterial infection. Bacteria can enter the body through a break in the skin or through an opening, such as a hair follicle. When the body’s immune system detects the presence of bacteria, it sends white blood cells to the site to fight off the infection. As the white blood cells and bacteria accumulate, they can form a pocket of pus, which is the abscess.
The symptoms of an abscess depend on its location in the body. If it’s on the skin, it may appear as a red, swollen bump that’s tender to the touch. It may also be warm to the touch and have a “head” that eventually breaks open and drains pus. If it’s inside the body, the symptoms may include fever, chills, and pain in the affected area.
The treatment for an abscess depends on its location and severity. In some cases, the abscess may be drained with a needle or incision. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help fight the infection. In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove the abscess.
To help prevent abscesses, it’s important to practice good hygiene, especially when it comes to wounds or cuts. This includes keeping the area clean and dry, covering it with a bandage, and changing the bandage regularly. It’s also important to avoid sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, as this can spread bacteria.
In conclusion, abscesses can be painful and uncomfortable, but they can usually be treated with antibiotics and drainage. By practicing good hygiene and taking care of wounds properly, you can help prevent abscesses from forming in the first place.
“Abscess.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 23 Mar. 2022, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001353.htm.
“Abscess.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 20 Mar. 2021, mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/abscess/symptoms-causes/syc-20370894.