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An abscess is a pocket of pus. You can get an abscess almost anywhere in your body. When an area of your body becomes infected, your body's immune system tries to fight the infection. White blood cells go to the infected area, collect within the damaged tissue, and cause inflammation. During this process, pus forms. Pus is a mixture of living and dead white blood cells, germs, and dead tissue.

Bacteria, viruses, parasites and swallowed objects can all lead to abscesses. Skin abscesses are easy to detect. They are red, raised and painful. Abscesses inside your body may not be obvious and can damage organs, including the brain, lungs and others. Treatments include drainage and antibiotics.

Symptoms of Abscess

The following features are indicative of Abscess:
  • redness
  • heat
  • swelling
  • pain
  • loss of function
  • chills
  • fever

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Common Causes of Abscess

The following are the most common causes of Abscess:
  • bacterial infections
  • immune deficiency
  • Panton-Valentine leukocidin Staphylococcus aureus
  • parasitic infections
  • primary local tissue infection

Risk Factors for Abscess

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Abscess:
  • intravenous drug use
  • prior history of disc herniation
  • spinal abnormality
  • human immunodeficiency virus infection

Prevention of Abscess

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Abscess. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • educate patients on the proper and safe technique of injecting
  • wash hands thoroughly before injecting
  • clean the injecting site
  • do not inject frequently
  • avoid sharing vials
  • educate patients on the differences between vein and artery
  • educate patients on recognizing safe and unsafe injecting sites

Occurrence of Abscess

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Abscess cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Abscess can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Abscess can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Abscess

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Abscess:
  • Ultrasound imaging: To diagnose skin abscess
  • Computed tomography scanning: To view deeper infection
  • X-ray: To determine the presence or absence of needle fragments

Doctor for Diagnosis of Abscess

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Abscess:
  • Dermatologist
  • Infectious disease specialist

Complications of Abscess if untreated

Yes, Abscess causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Abscess is left untreated:
  • metastasis to distant tissues
  • septicemia
  • prolonged pyrexia
  • spontaneous rupture to the surface or adjacent natural cavities
  • extension to adjacent tissues

Procedures for Treatment of Abscess

The following procedures are used to treat Abscess:
  • Incision and drainage: To allow pus to drain out
  • Surgery: To remove the pus

Medicines for Abscess

Below is the list of medicines used for Abscess:

Self-care for Abscess

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Abscess:
  • Use warm compresses: Heal the abscess
  • Do not squeeze on the abscess

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Abscess

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Abscess:
  • Apply moist heat: To help the abscess drain and heal faster

Time for Treatment of Abscess

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Abscess to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 week

Is Abscess Infectious?

Yes, Abscess is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • intravenous drug use

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Abscess.

Related Topics

Infectious Diseases

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