Find here how to treat & cure Abscess at home ,learn how to prevent Abscess .
Abscess is a bacterial infection which allows accumulation of pus which is a thick fluid mostly containing white blood cell, within a tissue.
It is the defensive mechanism of the tissue to prevent spreading of infection to other nearby areas. It appears as a swollen area with a lump having pink or red colour and is painful. They can occur at any part of body.
Causes of Abscess:-
The main reason for abscess is the bacterial infection, when a bacteria enters a body by way of any minor breaks or punctures into the skin which allows the germs to get in, wbc are sent to the sight by the immune system and while fighting with the infection the tissues around gets damaged thus forming a vacant area which fills with pus, this area begins to get swollen creating pressure an inflammation under the skin. Mostly they are formed at the root of the hair or by a blocked sweat gland. A healthy and hygienic lifestyle is helpful in preventing skin abscess. People with weak immune system are more prone to developing abscesses, those with any of the following are at increased risk of having frequent occurrence of abscesses:
- Sickle cell disease – disorder in blood caused by inherited abnormal haemoglobin.
- Chronic steroid therapy
- Peripheral vascular disorders
- Ulcerative colitis
- Severe burns or trauma
Types of Abscesses:-
In broad classification they can be classified into two heads:
- Skin Abscess – which appears anywhere on the body on the surface of skin and easily seen.
- Internal Abscess – they develop inside the body following an infection or injury, these can be identified by redness and little raised skin with pain.
Other types of abscesses based upon the area of body:
- Spinal cord abscess – develops inside the spine due to infection there resulting in inflammation and swelling around spinal cord.
- Dental abscess – bacterial infection resulting in abscess in and around tooth.
- Brain abscess – though a rare type but life threatening, mostly occurring after some surgery or previous infection causing bacterial infection following trauma in skull.
- Liver abscess – caused by abdominal infection like appendicitis, infection in biliary tract or blood infection .
- Peritonsillar abscess – common infection in head and neck region usually resulting from tonsils
- Anorectal abscess – caused due to sexually transmitted infections leading to collection of pus in rectum and anus.
- Bartholin’s cyst – build up of pus from Bartholin gland, found on each side of the opening of vagina.
There are many other types of abscesses.
Treatment of Abscesses:-
- Self- care at home:-
- Do not attempt to drain out the pus by pressing it this can further worsen the tissue damage.
- Do not pinch any needle of sharp thing in order to empty the pus, this may injure the blood vessel or spread infection
- If the abscess is small then something warm around it for some time daily can help.
- Doctor’s consultation:- If the sore is large and much painful or is near private parts accompanying high fever then doctor’s consultation is needed. Though some abscesses may be treated with antibiotics, if they too do not help or doctor finds other way is needed then following treatments may be required:
- Incision or drainage – if the abscess if big and severe and needs to be drained out then a small operation is done by doing a little cut with mostly local anesthesia. By this method the pus contents may be tested to find the bacteria type.
- Surgery – If internal abscess is too large or simple incision is not possible, a surgery may be needed to drain out the pus.
Skin Abscess can be prevented with hygienic and healthy lifestyle, although internal abscesses have many other reasons of growing.
- Skin Care:-Healthy, clean and bacteria free skin can reduce the risk of skin abscess, following habits can help in that.
- Washing hands regularly.
- Using separate towels, toothbrushes, razors etc.
- Avoid using common areas like swimming pool etc if recovering from an existing abscess.
- Encouraging people around to wash hands on regular basis and be clean.
- Be careful while shaving any area.
- Clean the wounds immediately.
- Healthy Diet:- eating healthy with high vitamins and minerals will strengthen the immune and infection fighting system.
- No smoking:- smoking reduces the immune system along with many other serious health problems.
- Weight control:- overweight and obesity is an invitation to abscesses and boils.
In most cases we do not take any effort to treat the abscess and wait for self curing which is not a bad idea also but if the abscess seems something unusually big or in any area where self curing is not easily possible than consulting a doctor would prove to be much wiser idea. Internal abscesses should be consulted with doctor immediately.