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Abscess - Symptoms and Treatment

The abscess is an inflammatory reaction

An abscess is a collection of pus located in a cavity in the tissue. This cavity is formed by the abscess. The cause of the accumulation of pus is inflammation. It occurs when pathogens enter the body. The pus remains as a relic of the defensive battle against these pathogens. It is made up of leukocytes, bacteria, tissue remnants and some blood serum. If the pus is permanently deposited in a tissue cavity, an abscess is present. Such a boil should never be self-expressed. If it does not heal by itself, the doctor has to help.

Abscesses can appear anywhere

An abscess is versatile, depending on the location of the boil on or in the body. The medical vocabulary is just as versatile. Dr. Hendrike Durani: “The boil is well known - when it is increased it is called carbuncle. There is also the subhepatic abscess under the liver, the Douglas abscess between the bladder and rectum, and the coccyx abscess, which forms from a fistula on the coccyx. " In addition to organs such as the spleen that have a strong blood supply, the skin in particular offers the target for the painful boil. As an exposed organ, the skin comes into contact with pathogens most frequently. Known is the boil, an inflammation of the hair root. In the deeper layers of the skin, the tissue dies as a result of the infection: a painful boil develops. If several such collections of pus merge, skin medicine speaks of carbuncles. Boils and carbuncles tend to settle on the face, neck and neck. The accumulations of pus are also common in the armpits and groin, on the buttocks and thighs, in the pubic area and in the back. The size of the abscess ranges from the size of a cherry stone to the size of a palm.


Can an abscess be dangerous?

An abscess should not be taken lightly. The internal garbage disposal of the immune cells reaches that hollow-enclosed boil with difficulty. If the immune system is weakened anyway, the organism cannot cope with the abscess on its own. The boil on the face in particular requires medical treatment. It throbs, it hurts, it gets hot. As it continues to grow, fever, fatigue, and chills occur. The abscess can break into vessels that supply the brain: a harmless boil develops into a serious disease crisis.

When does an abscess belong in the medical hands?

Dr. Hendrike Durani is familiar with severe abscess complications from her dermatological practice. “An abscess can poison the blood. If a reddish streak runs from the untreated boil, sepsis may be present. Then you should go to a doctor's office or hospital as soon as possible. " The boil localized in the oral cavity, also known as a jaw abscess, is mostly related to damaged teeth or dental operations. It belongs immediately to the treatment of the dentist. Abscesses on internal organs are more difficult for the layperson to diagnose. A boil on the liver or spleen causes upper abdominal pain and non-specific symptoms such as fever and chills. If the pus accumulates in the brain, abnormal sensations, paralysis and memory disorders appear. Go to the doctor immediately!

The abscess treatment: with patience and expertise to healing success

Abscess treatment depends on the location of the boil. The time at which the abscess formed also plays a role. Dr. Durani: “An abscess is immature or ripe. If the cavity under the skin has not yet been completely filled with the boil, it will remain untreated. Only when the boil has reached its full extent does the doctor cut it open. For the experienced dermatologist, visual and tactile findings are sufficient to assess the right time. And don't worry: the cut is made under local anesthesia. " After the boil has been drained and the wound has been disinfected, a cut abscess will usually heal quickly. The same procedure is used for anal abscesses, a common type of suppuration.

Abscess - usually not a quick therapy

Treating a boil takes patience. The patient runs out of this particularly quickly when sitting in an exposed area such as the face or in sensitive areas such as the jaw or rectum. Nevertheless, the following applies: The success of the treatment of that unattractive and painful area depends on the degree of maturation. To accelerate this, the doctor puts on a pull ointment bandage. The traditional drug train ointment is based on shale oil. It has an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and blood circulation-enhancing effect. The immune cells get to their destination faster, the boil gains volume more quickly and is finally cut open. Train ointment can be bought in every drugstore.

Individual advice for skin problems from experienced dermatologists from Heidelberg is possible on our homepage.

Attention:An occasional boil is a side effect of the immune system. Treated in good time and expertly, it subsides quickly. However, if an abscess occurs more frequently or if it does not heal or heals too slowly despite treatment, it may be due to a weakened immune system, diabetes or another disease. In this case, the doctor should be consulted for a more extensive diagnosis.