Abscess refers to pus that usually gets accumulated under the skin. Pus, the thick fluid comprises of dead tissue, white blood cells and germs. Bacteria and infection are responsible for abscess. Infection results in the immune system to activate chemicals and white blood cells to discourage bacteria that leads to destruction of some tissue. It leads to formation of cavity that is filled with pus. If the infection does not cease, the size of the cavity becomes larger.

Abscesses can be observed in other parts of the body too but they usually develop under the skin. Known as boils, the skin abscesses involve hair root that gets infected and takes the shape of a small abscess. They usually affect the groin, armpits, external vaginal area and rectal areas. Abscess can occur around the tooth too. Sweat glands and inflammation around the hair follicles can also result in abscesses that can affect the kidneys, brain, liver, breast, lungs, teeth, neck and tonsils etc. Abscesses can be felt easily by touch. They are in fact the tender mass that is usually surrounded by a colored area, i.e. deep red or pink. Pus and debris get filled in the middle of the abscess.

Abscess may occur inside the body too or between two organs.

Symptoms of Abscess

The affected area becomes swollen and red due to the abscess that also gives pain. The patient can feel warmth over the area that is affected due to the abscess.

Causes of Abscess –

a.     Abscesses often occur due to hindrance of oil or sweat glands.

b.    Inflammation of hair follicles also results in abscesses.

c.     Small punctures or breaks of the skin also lead to abscesses. The germs under the skin enter the glands that results in inflammation which spreads to the surrounding tissues. 

d.    The pressure and inflammation give more pain.

e.     Weak immune system is also the major cause of abscesses.

f.      Filthy environments and contact with the persons that are already affected with infections, poor circulation or hygiene.

g.     Liver abscesses are caused due to infection in the liver.

Effects of Abscesses –

If not cared for in early stages, the abscesses can spread to other parts and even affect the bloodstream too. If the infection expands into the deeper tissue, the patient may suffer from fever and become sick. Abscess can damage the gums too by infecting them.

Treatment –

Abscesses must be treated well by visiting the physician in a regular manner. It must drain and open for quick recovery. Drainage in the operating room is the best solution to avoid any complications.

Warm compresses to the affected areas give good results if the abscess is small.

Suspected abscesses can be assessed with the help of ultrasound or other scans.

Do not ever press the abscess to drain it out. This may result in pushing the infected material into the deeper tissues.

Many people often put needle or other sharp instruments into the abscess centre to drain it out. But it is harmful because the underlying blood vessel could be injured apart from spreading of infection to other areas.








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