Medical Questions » Skin Infections Questions » Question No. 907
Question:I have recently had a horrible abscess on my buttock. Can you please tell me all about these messy things?
Answer:An abscess is a collection of pus in a tissue-lined cavity. They occur due to the destruction of notmal tissue by a bactetial infection. Rarely, fungal infections may cause an abscess. When a bacteria infects an area, it destroys the normal cells. The wastes produced can normally be removed through the blood circulation in the area, but if the destruction is too great, the waste products accumulate as pus, and an abscess forms. There are two main types of abscess: those that occur in or under the skin, and those that occur in internal body organs. An abscess in or under the skin appears as a red, painful swelling. It is initially hard to touch, but as the pus formation increases, it becomes soft and obviously fluid filled. In due course, it will ' point' and form a head that will eventually burst and allow the pus to escape. Treatment in the early stages will involve antibiotics by mouth or injection, and hot compresses on the area. Once there is obvious fluid present, the abscess should (under local or general anaesthetic) be drained, scraped out, and the drain hole kept open by a small piece of cloth (a wick) to allow any further pus to escape quickly. The wick is changed regularly, and the abscess cavity -will slowly reduce in size until it heals. Particularly nasty abscesses may develop around the anus and require quite major surgery to allow for the adequate drainage of pus.
eXTReMe Tracker