Any region of your body might develop an abscess, a pus-filled collection. Abscesses can take many distinct forms; they might appear around your organs, on your skin, or in your mouth. Abscesses are frequently the result of bacterial infections. Surgical drainage is a common component of treating an abscess.
Abscesses come in two different varieties:
- Skin abscesses. They are infections that form beneath the skin
- Internal abscesses. They create conditions that appear inside the body, in organs, or between organs
A swelling, pus-filled bump beneath the skin’s surface is a common symptom of a skin abscess.
Skin abscess symptoms can include:
- A smooth swelling under your skin
- The affected area feels uncomfortable and painful
- Redness and warmth in the afflicted area
- A noticeable collection of white or yellow pus under the skin in the affected area
- Rising temperature
A typical indication of a skin abscess is a boil.
In contrast to skin abscesses, abscesses that form inside organs or in the gaps between organs can be more challenging to spot.
The symptoms can also change depending on where exactly in the body an internal abscess forms.
General signs of an internal abscess can include:
- The abscess location is uncomfortable
- A high degree
- Increased sweats
- Feeling unwell
- Becoming sick
- Stomach ache or swelling
- Appetite loss and weight loss
A staphylococcal bacterium infection is the primary cause of most abscesses.
The immune system releases white blood cells to fight infection brought on by bacteria when they enter the body. This process results in tissue death at the infection site and swelling (inflammation) at the injection site. An abscess develops when a cavity is left behind, filling it with pus.
White blood cells, bacteria, and dead tissue are present in the pus. The abscess may become more painful as the infection worsens and produces more pus.
Numerous treatment options are available based on the form and size of the abscess.
The primary forms of treatment are:
- A drainage technique
Small skin abscesses sometimes heal independently and don’t require medical attention. It may be possible to lessen any swelling and hasten the healing process by applying heat as a warm compress, like a warm flannel.
Your internal abscess and where it is in your body will determine the type of surgery you need. Wash out the pus, which usually entails making a broader incision in your skin.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022