An abscess is a buildup of pus that is often the result of bacterial infection. This condition causes a swelling that can appear either internally or externally in any part of the body. Abscesses can be small or large and typically present with symptoms such as painful, swollen pustules that may feel hot to the touch. Patients may also exhibit signs of infection, such as fever or chills. While skin abscesses are usually not very painful and may heal on their own, those that develop internally are more serious and require prompt medical attention.

Two types of abscess (categorized by their location):

External abscess

An external abscess is one that develops beneath the skin, often due to inflammation surrounding hair follicles. Symptoms include painful, swollen, and reddened skin, as well as a burning sensation. Breast abscesses can develop in lactating women. Bartholin's abscess can occur on either side of the vaginal opening in women.

Internal abscess

An internal abscess is a type of abscess that forms inside the body or in the space between internal organs. Symptoms depend on the location of the abscess. Internal abscesses are often caused by other illnesses, such as a liver infection causing a liver abscess or a gum and tooth infection causing a gum or tooth abscess.

Treatment Indication

If the abscess is small and not so painful, patient can take care of it at home. It will get better and disappear by itself. Try not to squeeze or pierce it to drain fluid inside as it might cause infection on the surrounding membranes or blood vessel damage.If it is large or severely painful, please see a doctor. The doctor will administer antibiotics for treatment. In some cases, an incision might be needed for drainage. A treatment option depends on severity, location, and doctor’s discretion.

Likelihood of Success

Treatment success depends on many factors, please discuss with your doctor if you have any questions.

What if it is left untreated?

It's important to note that bacteria present in pus may potentially spread to the bloodstream, bone, or surrounding membranes. Additionally, if the abscess ruptures, the resulting disease can spread to surrounding membranes and cause necrosis or gangrene.